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Mohammedan Sporting rally to hold Air India

January 25, 2009 22:23 IST

A struggling Kolkata side Mohammedan Sporting came from behind to hold local outfit Air India 1-1 in a scrappy I-League match at the Cooperage ground, in Mumbai on Sunday.

Mohammedan Sporting, lying second from the bottom, made a determined effort in the second half, often inducing in rough play that resulted in marching orders being given to central defender Madhab Das late in the second half.

But they managed to neutralise the early first half lead taken by Air India through midfielder Subhas Singh in the second half. Their Liberian striker Eugene Gray nodded the ball in from well inside the box off a floater from midfielder A Jothikumar.

Air India's Subhas had earlier surprised Mohammedan Sporting custodian Naseem Akhtar by chipping the ball over his head from the left of the box to send it in off the inside of the far post.

Down to 10 men in the last quarter of an hour, Mohammedan Sporting held off their rivals at bay and earned a draw.

They packed their defence that resulted in the ejection of Air India's mercurial striker and man of the match Michael Tayo, who got his second yellow card in the match and was sent off with just seconds left for deliberate handling of the ball.

Air India, who boosted their tally to 17 after the 12th round encounter, would miss the services of Tayo for their next clash against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan here on February 1.

Mohammedan Sporting, who have 10 points, would be without Madhab for their subsequent tie against league leaders Sporting Clube de Goa in Kolkata on January 31.

The two teams had ended with a similar result in the first leg held at Kolkata on September 29.

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