Mohun Bagan maintained their position at the top of the I-League table 2019-20 standings with a 1-1 draw against hosts Punjab FC here on Tuesday.
Bagan now has 14 points from seven games while Punjab moves one place up to second with 11 points from eight.
The visitors’ Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna named an unchanged starting line-up from their previous solitary goal victory against the Indian Arrows.
Punjab’s Yan Law, made two changes, bringing in Dicka and Samuel Shadap in place of Girik Khosla and Thoiba Singh, who had started their previous game.
Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka gave the hosts the lead in the first half and they almost clinched a win before young Subha Ghosh snatched an equalizer late in the match.
Punjab halted Bagan’s four-match winning streak, which is now a seven-game unbeaten run.
The Kolkata giants were the more attacking off the blocks, but Punjab played the off-side trap to perfection to thwart any clear attacks on goal save a Fran Gonzalez effort early on.
Punjab was more confident in the second half and the game was more end-to-end as a result with both sides missing a flurry of chances.
Also, check out: Mohun Bagan “We The Mariners” t-shirt.
Sankar gave an excellent save in the 56th minute, his first of three in the half, denied Sergio Barboza, who had found himself one-on-one with the keeper in a delicious position in front of goal.
Bagan had their share of easy misses as well. Papa Diawara, Bagan’s Nigerian recruit, found himself in a favorable position in the 60th minute but shot wide.
Spaniard Joseba Beitia then shot over the bar from close in the 68th, while VP Suhair in the 70th also shot wide with only the keeper to beat. And when Bagan substitute and new foreign recruit Komron Tursunov of Tajikistan shot wide from close in the 85th, it looked all but over for the Green and Maroons.
Danillo Augusto, Punjab’s Brazilian defender was awarded the Hero of the Match for a gutsy performance at the back.