Mumbai FC squandered a first half lead and were held 1-1 by lowly Vasco Sports Club who rallied strongly in the second session in a seventh round I-League match at the Cooperage on Saturday.
It was only the second point in seven games for the Goan 'people's club' who are still rooted to the bottom while the local outfit moved up to fourth spot and into double figures finally (10 points) from six games.
Medio Kalia Kulothungan gave the home side the lead in the 25th minute, heading in a precise cross from Felix Aboagye from the right flank for his third goal in the tournament, making the most of the laxity in the Goan defence.
Substitute Abhishek Yadav (he came into the game in the 43rd minute, the same time that his international namesake also trooped into the field for his rivals) equalized in the 70th minute, putting the ball in from a melee following a free kick after Kalyan Chaubey had parried an Agnelo D'Souza header.
The equalizer exposed Mumbai FC's vulnerability against set pieces and left coach David Booth with a major loophole to plug as his club comes up against major opposition in the next two matches.
The game embarked on a contrasting script over the two sessions with Mumbai FC dominating the first and Vasco the second. Aboagye tested Vasco goalkeeper Milagrio Medeira twice with stiff shots but the latter was equal to the occasion.
In the second stanza Mumbai FC's inconsistency again came to the fore and the Elvis Goes-coached visitors took full advantage to establish their dominance.
Striker Ravshan Tashabaev, whose acrobatic header off a Bernado Pires cross just sailed over the bar in the 22nd minute, harried the Mumbai FC defence with his darting runs. But his two other Uzbek colleagues Yorkin and Sherzon Nazarov -- could not throw their weight in equal measure and Vasco only flattered to deceive.
Booth's introduction of winger Anees K and central midfielder Riston Rodrigues late in the game did restore the balance for the hosts as they enjoyed a late flourish. Anees struck the underside of the crossbar in the 86th minute following a late sortie but in the end the division of honours was fully justified.