A second-half injury time goal by Michael Toyo enabled Air India hold spirited Churchill Brothers to a 1-1 draw in a ninth round match of the ONGC I League Football championship at the Nehru stadium, in Fatorda, Goa, on Tuesday.
Felix Chimao scored for Churchill Brothers in the 38th minute while Toyo found the equaliser just before the final whistle.
Following the draw, Air India stayed in second place with 16 points from nine outings -- with four wins, four draws and a defeat. Churchill increased their points tally to 14 points after three wins, five draws and a defeat.
Churchill could have won by at least four goals had it not been for a stand-out showing by Air India goalkeeper Anup Debnath, who was later adjudged man of the match.
Churchill got off to an aggressive start with their strikers and midfielders constantly threatening the Air India goal. They came up with a good move as early as 15th minute of the first-half, initiated by Odafe Okolie, whose long ranger was smartly saved by Debnath, diving to his right.
Churchill almost snatched the lead in 31st minute, but rival defender Chikuwama Odofia brought off a goalline save after the goalkeeper was beaten.
It was a fine combined move that saw Chimao give a pass to Odafe Okolie, who in turn sent the ball to Chandan Singh, whose shot into goal was stopped on the line by Odofia.
But Churchill forged ahead in the 38th minute through Chimao off a well measured pass from Odafe.
Air India restored parity in injury minute when Samson Singh, from the right flank, crossed the ball to Emanuel, who squared for a better-placed Tayo, who made no mistake.