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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mohun Bagan hold Air India for first point

Mohun Bagan hold Air India for first point

October 03, 2008 21:20 IST

Air India finished their Kolkata sojourn without a victory after they were held 1-1 by Mohun Bagan in their I League encounter at the floodlit Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.

A combined effort by P C Lalawmpuia and substitute Branco Vincent Cardozo helped the Kolkata take a point from the encounter.

Air India took the lead almost on the stroke of half-time through Soccor Velho, who bulged the Bagan net from a free-kick.

The match saw disappointments galore for the Mohun Bagan line-up particularly their Brazilian ace Jose Ramirez Barreto who missed many chances.

But the brilliant display of young Branco, a Tata Football Academy product, gave Bagan's Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa something to cheer about.

Substituted for Lalramluahah in the 61st minute, Branco combined well with Ishfaq Ahmed.

But it was Lalawmpuia who set it up for a surging Branco in the 70th minute with a measured cross from the left. The mercurial Lalwmpuia beat two Air India defenders and tapped the ball to Branco, who drove home to put some life into the silent home crowd, which had gone quiet after Mohun Bagan conceded the goal.

Air India could have snatched back the lead in the 84th minute through their striker Emmanuel Ovieghara but his header was deflected by Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul.

This was the second successive draw for Air India, while Bagan picked their first point from two matches.