Mohun Bagan rallied from a goal down to hold Gokulam Kerala FC 2-2 in an I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Wednesday. Virtually out of title contention after losing to arch-rivals East Bengal, the green and maroons took the lead through Shilton D’Silva’s 18th minute goal only to hand over the advantage three minutes later when Lalchhawnkima (21st) put the ball in his own net.
Mohun Bagan now have 22 points from 15 matches and their title hopes are as good as over.
Shilton D’Silva made an impact in his comeback match, giving the Mariners an 18th minute lead from a Sony Norde’s curling corner.
But what followed was a brain fade in the home team’s camp with Lalchhawnkima finding his own net with a misplaced clearance from Bijesh Balan’s cross in the 21st minute.
Within a space of three minutes, Marcus Joseph capitalised on a pass from Suhair VP before shooting the ball over Shilton Paul to give the Kerala outfit a superb 2-1 lead inside the half-an-hour mark.
At the hour mark, Dipanda Dicka (60th) equalised to avoid an upset. In the final minutes of the game, Jamil introduced Mehtab Hossain to add some steel in the midfield but their lack of cutting edge in the attacking third did not help in their search for the winner.
Gokulam Kerela dominated the hosts in the midfield as Mohun Bagan struggled to get the ball. In the eighth minute, Mohun Bagan wasted two chances with Dipanda’s scissor kick coming off the crosspiece, while moments later Kisseka’s header was off target.
The result meant both teams did not make any movement in the points table with Mohun Bagan staying in sixth spot (22 points from 15 matches) while Gokulam remained on ninth (12 points from 14 matches).
Mohun Bagan coach Khalid Jamil made three changes to the side that went down against East Bengal. Arijit Bagui, Azharuddin Mallick and Shilton got the nod ahead of Abhishek Ambekar, Pintu Mahata and Darren Caldeira respectively.