With a lacklustre workmanship on display, East Bengal on Friday escaped with a 1-1 draw against Mahindra United in a Round VII enocounter of the ONGC I-League at Yuba Bharati Krirangan at Salt Lake in Kolkata.
It was a Sunil Chhetri equaliser two minutes after the Paresh Shivalkar goal that spared the city giants the blushes and took their tally to nine points from seven matches.
After held to a draw, Mahindra United now have seven from seven matches.
Dishing out neat performance, the Mumbai side dominated the first half creating many chances but Subrata Pal, who returned from illness, negated Mahindra's efforts with some fine saves.
East Bengal's lack of strategy and loose coordination was seen from the very first-half only as a worried coach, Stanley Rozario, found their line-up wanting and made a 35-minute substitution replacing Mehraj din Wadoo with Jayanta Sen.
East Bengal's forward line-up, manned by Yusif Yakubu and Chhetri looked out of sorts as they were not able to link-up their attacks.
Yakubu, who had to pull out in the first-half of their match against Mohammadan Sporting in their last match, did not seem to be in his usual form.
Having missed out on many sitters in the first-half, Mahindra United stepped up their attack in the second attack.
As it turned out, the substitution of Shivalkar in place of N P Pradeep paid dividends. Just a minute after Shivalkar came to the field he scored from a Chidi Edeh centre as Mahindra went 1-0 up.