A brilliant performance by goalkeeper Rogerio Ramos enabled Vasco to hold defending champions East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in an eighth National Football League match, at the Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa, on Thursday.
EastBengal restored parity a minute latter.
Suley Musah, who often moved up, sent a pass to Baichung Bhutia, who back-heeledthe ball to fox the rival defence. Substitute Dipankar Roy, who was standing near the goal, pounced on the loose ball and tapped home to the joy of East Bengal's team, who had a disappointing game against Salgaocar in their first match.
Vasco made the first move in the 22ndminute with Menino relaying a long pass to Amaechi, who squared to John, who shot over from close.
East Bengal then had a good chance when Okoro sent a cross from the right to Douglas, whoheaded to Bhutia. The last named volleyed the ball but Ramos came up with a fine save, tipping the ball over.
Just before half-time, Ramosagain bought off a good save when he dived to block Okoro's shot which came to him via Bhutia off a cross from Debjit Ghosh.
EastBengal had a better share of the exchanges in the second session but found the Vasco defence hard to beat.
Vasco'scoach Derrick Pereira was happy with the draw.
"Ourstrategy was to go all out towards the end and we succeeded in scoring the goal. But lack of concentration in the defence resulted in conceeding the equaliser," he said.
Onthe other hand, Subhas Bhowmick was disappointed with his strikers, especially Bhutia and Mike Okoro who "failed to cash on the opportunities".
"Ifthey continue to miss such opportunities we will find it difficult to defend the title," he lamented.
"Awin would have been a better result considering the chances that came our way," Bhowmick added.