Former champions Bengal put themselves in a difficult situation to qualify for the semi-finals after being held to a 1-1 draw by a fighting Manipur in their second Group A quarter-final league match of the Santosh Trophy in Chennai on Thursday.
Bengal went into the lead in the 10th minute through Lalawmpuia but a 59th minute strike by Manipur's Subhash Singh denied the 29-time champions a deserving win.
Having drawn with Tamil Nadu 1-1 earlier, Bengal will now have to win their last quarter-final league match against holders Punjab to make it to the last four stage.
Lalawmpuia and Subho Kumar kept Manipur backline busy for most part of the match. In the second minute itself, Kumar struck a powerful shot from the edge of the box only to miss the target narrowly.
Two minutes later, Tarif Ahmed muffed another chance off Lalawmpuia's pass.
Bengal were rewarded for their incessant attacks and in the tenth minute, Kumar fed Lalawmpuia, who cut through a defender inside the box and slotted the ball home.
The second half also saw Bengal dominating until a mistake by Bengal goalkeeper Abhra Mondal helped Manipur restore parity in the 59th minute.
Mondal failed to collect cleanly a Bisheshwor Singh half volley. Reisangmi Vasum, standing near Mondal, tapped the ball to Subhash Singh, who gave the final touches.
Bengal were unlucky not to find the winner with the ball hitting the Manipur crosspiece towards the close.