Mohun Bagan were held to 1-1 draw by East Bengal to share a point each.
It was once again Bagan who had won seven matches against East Bengal in a row at the Salt Lake Stadium drew the first blood. Mohun Bagan took the required lead in the second minute of the game.
Bagan skipper Baichung Bhutia received a pass from Ishfaq Ahmed and the Indian skipper had no problem in getting it past Subrata Pal to give Mohun Bagan the lead. It was a match that Bagan needed to win at any cost as they were placed eleventh in the league standing.
But Yakubu in the 39th minute set a perfect ball for Nabi inside the box and the latter had no problems in getting it past the Bagan custodian Shilton to score the equalizer.
With action and emotions coming out of players at regular interval the second half saw East Bengal players losing their calm and paying the price. Surkumar Singh first tackled Masih and then manhandled his national teammate Baichung Bhutia to get a red card against his name and reduce his team to 10 men. The situation became worse when East Bengal custodian Subrata Pal was shown the yellow card for protesting against the decision.
But the mariners could not take any advantage of opposition’s plight. Isfaq Ahmed got the award of Man of the match for his excellence in the match.
Team: Shilton (Sangram), Habibur, Vasan, Odafe, Deepak, Masih, Marcos, Ishfaq (James Sr.), Lalkamal (Tulunga), Barreto, Baichung