GOA: Sporting Clube de Goa held Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw at the Fatorda Stadium in the second bout of the midweek doubleheader, here on Tuesday.
Mateus Costa made four changes to their starting eleven from their last match with Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Denson Devadas and Pratesh Shirodkar making way for Joseph Clemente, Subashish Bose, Glan Martins and Rowllin Borges.
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, welcomed Luciano Sobrosa into their starting eleven from their last encounter against the other Goan outfit Salgaocar FC.
Odafa Okolie could have put the home side into the lead within the opening ten minutes but the Nigerian scuffed his shot wide after beating the onrushing Debjit Majumder.
The deadlock was broken minutes before the half-an-hour mark. Sony Norde danced past Clemente on the left and sent in an inch-perfect cross for Brandon Fernandes who made no mistake to net his maiden Hero I-League goal this season.
Mateus Costa responded by quickly replacing Ganesh Thakur with Victorino Fernandes and his move paid positive dividends as Sporting went level through a Raju Gaekwad own goal in the 39th minute. Victorino’s low cross from the right went across the face of goal and went into the back of the net off Gaikwad.
The scoreline remained 1-1 at the end of the first half.
The first chance of the second half came in the 55th minute as Sony Norde intercepted a ball released by Al-Amna and swiftly passed forward to Glen. The former Trinidad and Tobago striker sent Loveday out of favour through a dummy shot but his final shot went straight into the hands of Arindam Bhattacharya.
In the 82nd minute, Sporting had a chance to go up through the super-sub Victorino Fernandes. Mahmoud Al Amna initiated the counter attacking move and found the forward with a through ball, but he could not beat the valiant Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder.
There was yet another chance in the second half added time but Al Amna's low effort was collected yet again by Debjit Majumder, who was having one of his best performances for Mohun Bagan tonight.
Mohun Bagan had a plethora of corners and free-kicks in the second half but the Mariners could not make most of those opportunities.
The scoreline, however, remained unchanged till the final whistle and Mohun Bagan ended their Goa trip with 4 points. The Mariners, having amassed 22 points from 10 matches so far, confirm the pinnacle spot for another week while Sporting Clube de Goa are 9 points shy of the leaders playing the same number of matches.