The Bangladesh Army Football Team (BAFT) held a 10-man East Bengal to a 2-2 draw after an exciting Durand Cup game on Sunday.
The Kolkata side went 2-0 up in the first half through goals from Saul Crespo and Javier Siviero, but Shariar Emon and substitute Meraj Pradhan kept the visiting side in contention after Nishu Kumar received marching orders for an off-the-ball challenge in the 67th minute.
Spaniard Siverio seemed to put the red and golds ahead just under five minutes into the game, off a wonderfully weighted Naorem Mahesh cross from the left flank, but he was booked eventually for handball.
East Bengal dominated for prolonged periods but the deadlock refused to be broken. The goal finally came in the 34th minute when Kamrul Islam pulled back Nishu inside the Bangladesh penalty box and Saul made no mistake from the spot.
Then just before the break, East Bengal doubled its lead with Siverio heading in clean this time from a Harmanjot Khabra floater from the right.
The second half saw scrappy football for most parts and East Bengal did get the better chances but failed to convert any.
In the 88th minute, Gursimrat Gill was replaced by Australian Jordan Elsey and Shariar Emon pulled one back for Bangladesh’s first goal of the tournament.
It came off a Mehedi Hasan throw-in from the left-flank, which took a couple of headers on the way to land in the path of Emon. The lanky forward struck with his left and the ball took a couple of bounces along the ground to beat keeper Prabhsukan Gill.
As the game went into added time, East Bengal was tiring with 10-men and Bangladesh mounted an attack through Emon.
He crossed to Mamun whose shot was deflected back by Gill. An onrushing Meraj pounced on the loose ball and shot back towards goal which Gill again managed to thwart feebly for one last time, before Meraj muscled it in, to secure a point for his team.
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