Mohun Bagan, Dempo share honours

Kolkata: Struggling for form in recent
times, Mohun Bagan on Thursday put up a spirited display to hold
defending champions Dempo 2-2 in a fourth round I-League match
at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here.

Subair Muritala Ali gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the
eighth minute before Cliffton Gonsalves drew level in the 36th
minute. Dempo then took the lead with a Ranty Martins strike
in the 79th minute but veteran Jose Ramirez Barreto, having
earlier missed a penalty, shot home the equaliser in the 81st

The Subhas Bhowmick-inspired Mohun Bagan began with some
attacking moves, putting the Goan giants under pressure in the
initial stages.

Their attack led by Muritala proved effective as the
Nigerian forward gave Mohun Bagan the lead with a spectacular
goal after right-back Nagimuddin did the spadework.

Muritala`s early strike turned out to be the goal of the

Nagimuddin crossed from the right flank and Muritala`s
right-footer from about 25 yards gave Dempo custodian
Laximkant Kattimani no chance.

Star striker Barreto, however, missed a penalty midway
into the first half to deny Mohun Bagan the chance of taking a
2-0 lead.

Barreto`s half-hearted attempt from the spot was
easily anticipated by Kattimani, much to the dismay of Bagan

Dempo meanwhile gathered steam and, in the 36th
minute, a Carvalho header set it up for Gonsalves for the

In the 41th minute, Dempo missed a sitter courtesy
Ogba Kalu Nnanna, while at the stroke of half time, Ranty

With Dempo attacking on all cylinders, Mohun Bagan had
a difficult time and seemed like conceding anytime even as
custodian Shilton Paul stood tall with some impressive saves.

But its fragile defence again let the team down with
Ranty opening his account in the 79th to go past Mohun Bagan.

Shilton deflected a Beto right-footer only to see Ranty
finishing from the rebound.

Trailing by a goal, Mohun Bagan tried their best to fight
back and found the equaliser within two minutes through
Barreto`s diagonal shot off a Muritala pass.

Bhowmick made three changes in defence, bringing in
Sheikh Azim, Souvik Chakraborty and Nagimuddin Mollick who
showed promise early on.

After four matches, Mohun Bagan have two points, while
Dempo have five.