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Gurpreet villain as United SC hold East Bengal

Kalyani: A goalkeeping folly by Gurpreet Singh helped United SC bounce back from behind as they struck twice in three minutes to hold East Bengal 2-2 in their round 22 I-League fixture on Friday.

East Bengal had a two-goal lead with strikes from Edeh Chidi (41st) and Manandeep Singh who converted a spot kick in the 49th minute.

On course to close in on league leaders Churchill Brothers, East Bengal were left shell-shocked in the 62nd minute with a bloomer by an absent-minded Gurpreet.

An otherwise alert Gurpreet let in a Carlos Hernandez long range effort from the midfield, as the ball sneaked past his hands before going past the goal-line to make it 1-2.

Having returned into the action from nowhere, United SC looked charged up as their Nigerian ace Ranty Martins found the equaliser three minutes later with a powerful angled left-footer that was sheer class.

Trevor Morgan brought in his tactical expertise bringing in Sanju Pradhan and Andrew Barisic but East Bengal looked down and out.

They had a golden opportunity in the 82nd minute when Ishfaq Ahmed shot the ball over goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee, only to miss the target.

East Bengal now have 42 points, two behind Churchill Brothers who have five matches left compared to four of the former in the race to the I-League 6 title.

United, on the other hand, remained in top-five with 35 from 22 matches.