Sporting Clube de Goa came from behind to hold Kolkata outfit Chirag United to a 1-1 draw to split points in the sixth round I-league encounter at Nehru Stadium in Margao on Monday.
The visitors, who had better scoring opportunities, took the lead in the 79th minute through Edmilson Marques from a penalty. Sporting fought back and equalised through Nathaniel Amos in the 82nd minute.
Chirag United collected 12 points, the same as Dempo Sports Club from six matches to remain on second position, while Sporting, who drew their second match, have two points from five matches.
Both the teams started cautiously as they tried to gauge each other's strength. Chirag controlled the midfield, had more of the exchanges and scoring chances.
They had the first opportunity in the 18th minute when a combined move between Denson Devdas and Edmilson Marques saw the later release the ball to Josimar Da Silva Martins who shot out.
Denson picked a long ball from Arnab Mondal and released the ball to Josimar, whose powerful volley was stopped over by alert goalkeeper Luis Barreto.
Sporting who played a lone striker upfront in the absence of injured Junior picked up the tempo as the match wore on and came close to scoring midway in the first half.
Nathanel Amos sent a cross to Babiano Fernandes, after keeper Somnath Khara failed to intercept a long center from the middle, but Khara retrieved his position in time to put the ball out of danger off Babiano's header.
The goalkeeper came to his side's rescue twice again as he parried shots from Rowan Pereira and Bisheshwor Lairenjam.
Sporting keeper Baretto, who played his first match replacing off colour Felix D'Souza, put up a good show under the bar as he brought off a smart save to deny Josimar from scoring off a throw-in by Gourang Biswas.
Chirag had an opportunity to break the deadlock soon after resumption when Baretto failed to intercept Denson's long pass which Edmilson tried to guide into the goal, but alert defender Felip Gomes put the ball out of danger.
Josimar again fumbled when he headed out a well directed cross by Edmilson off a pass from Denson.
Chirag earned a penalty midway in the second half after referee A Rowan pulled Sporting defender Samananda Ningthoujam for a foul on Edmilson Marques after the later went down when both went for a tackle for the loose ball. Edmilson who himself took the penalty converted it.
Sporting did not lose heart after the set back as they regrouped and equalised three minutes later when a move on the left saw Joseph Pereira send a measured cross to Nathaniel Amos in the box who headed in.
Refereee A Rowan showed yellow card to Sporting's Samananda Lairenjam, Luis Baretto and Chirag's Arnab Mondal and Somnath Khara.