Viva Kerala put up a spirited display against Mahindra United to earn a 1-1 draw in a seventh round I-League encounter at the Cooperage in Mumbai on Friday.
Wisoot Bunpeng (29th minute) and Mohammad Rafi (54th) were the scorers for Viva Kerala and Mahindra United respectively.
The visitors dominated right through and created numerous chances. Minutes after a T Karma shot missed the mark by a whisker, Bunpeng put the Kerala side ahead, driving home a pass from the right.
Mahindra suffered a huge blow when star winger Steven Dias, who missed the previous match due to illness, had to be substituted in the 23rd minute after injuring his knee.
The local side found the equalizer nine minutes into the second half when Rafi's header off an N Pradeep free-kick, from the left, found the Viva net.
Following the draw, Mahindra have 11 points from seven matches while Viva Kerala have four from six.
"I would have been happier had we not conceded the goal. The team is inexperienced and that is what cost us the match. We had our chances but could not make them count," Viva Kerala coach A M Sreedharan said after the match.
Mahindra manager Henry Menezes was livid with his team's performance.
"Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for us in the first half. Though the team did better in the second half, still, apart from the goal that we scored, Viva Kerala dominated us right through," he said.