GOA: Calum Angus rescued a point for Dempo Sports Club at the death as they settled for a 1-1 result against 10-men McDowell Mohun Bagan in a Hero I-League clash at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Wednesday.
Balwant Singh had provided the lead for Mohun Bagan in the 31st minute. But while that was advantage Mohun Bagan, that soon turned into a disadvantage for the visitors after they were reduced to ten men with the sending off of Sony Norde at the stroke of half time.
Dempo captialized on the numerical advantage and got the equalizer in the 87th minute through captain Angus.
The draw took Mohun Bagan to the top of the table with 15 points from seven matches, the same as Pune FC but Bagan are perched on top, thanks to their better head-to-head record.
Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen, though, will be left to thinking that they dropped two points as Bagan, at the start, seemed comfortable against the hosts who had Mauricio Afonso in-charge following the resignation of Australian coach Arthur Papas.
Bagan started well and started dictating terms right at the start with Balwant Singh going close. When the match was just six minutes old, Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani had to wriggle himself out of a tight corner and two minutes later, Balwant saw his header sail just wide after being picked up by Katsumi Yusa.
The visitors got the goal they were hunting for just after the half an hour mark. A long ball was controlled well by Sony Norde who set himself up and squared it low towards the six-yard box where Balwant was on hand to turn it into the net.
Dempo tried to claw their way back into the game but were met with stubborn resistance from Bagan. There was a lifeline, however, for Dempo at the stroke of halftime when Sony Norde was sent off for a foul on Nirmal Chhetri.
The second half was all Dempo’s as they made the numerical advantage count. They launched a wave of attacks but it was not until the fag end of the match that they managed to find the elusive equalizer. The Dempo captain was at the right place — just outside the box — when a loose ball fell into his path and he sent a half-volley that found the top corner, past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar.
Hero of the Match – Calum Angus (DEM)