A lucky injury time goal by Baichung Bhutia enabled defending champions Mohun Bagan hold Mahindra United 1-1 in an Oil PSU-seventh National Football League match at the Cooperage, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
The India captain got a deflection from a shot by substitute Jayant Sen, which beat Mahindra goalkeeper Feroz Sheriff.
Mahindra United, who dominated right through the 90 minutes of play, went ahead through a snap goal in the 23rd minute, when defender Odartey Lawson timed his run into the box well to meet a free-kick from the left by Peter Strnadel and head home past goalkeeper Rajat Dastidar.
In fact, Mahindra should have gone ahead much earlier but Strnadel, after having a good look at the Bagan goal in the fifth minute, shot wide. A couple of minutes later, winger Monga Aby Samson failed to connect an R P Singh cross following striker R C Prakash's back pass.
Bagan's first goal-bound move came in the 14th minute but striker Renedy Singh's attempt was well-saved by Mahindra custodian Feroz Sheriff.
Four minutes later, R C Prakash ran into the Bagan box alone but shot over the bar.
Two minutes into injury time, a lucky goal gave Bagan victory. Jose Barreto worked his way to the touchline and centered the ball. As substitute Sen trapped the ball and essayed a shot towards the Mahindra goal, Bhutia got a deflection, which beat goalkeeper Sheriff.