Mohun Bagan’s I-League title defence stuttered further as it went winless for the third consecutive match, conceding a last gasp goal to settle for a frustrating 2-2 draw against Shillong Lajong here on Tuesday.
India international Jeje Lalpekhlua, who missed a penalty in Mohun Bagan’s 2-1 loss against East Bengal on Saturday, put the defending champ ahead at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Brazilian striker Uilliams Bomfim equalised for the home team before the break.
Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa put Mohun Bagan ahead in the 77th minute only for Bomfim to score his second goal in the fifth minute of added time to snatch a point for his side.
Mohun Bagan remained on top of the standings with 26 points from 14 matches, ahead of Bengaluru FC (25 from 12) and East Bengal (23 from 12). Lajong stayed fourth but improved to 15 points after 13 outings.
Trinidadian forward Cornell Glenn failed to connect a Pritam Kotal centre from the right. And the ball fell kindly inside the box to Jeje who slotted it in with a prompt shot in the 18th minute.
Till the goal Lajong had been the dominant side. It kept up the pressure and was rewarded when Bomfim scored from a swerving free-kick in the 40th minute. He bent the ball past the defensive wall and away from the clutches of a diving goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar.
Lajong maintained pressure when play resumed after the break. It threatened on several occasions but never managed to keep its goal-bound efforts on the target.
And the side was made to pay for the missed chances by Katsumi Yusa in the 77th minute. Mohun Bagan was to work for the ball, forcing them to rely on swift counter attacks.
One such foray from the right allowed Katsumi to dance his way into the box. The Mohun Bagan skipper cut inside on his right foot and unleashed a low shot that squeezed below Lajong keeper Vishal Keith.
It seemed enough for Mohun Bagan to win the contest but Bomfims rose above a shaky defence to head home in the dying seconds to snatch a point.
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