Table-toppers East Bengal dropped crucial points as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Shillong Lajong in the I-League football fixture at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on Wednesday.
Fresh from their goalless stalemate in the derby against Mohun Bagan, East Bengal came from behind to get a point, after Shillong's Samuel Lalmuanpuia had given hosts the lead in the 20th minute.
At the stroke of half-time, Willis Plaza headed past goalkeeper Vishal Kaith to equalise for East Bengal, and despite throwing everything in the second-half, the Trevor Morgan’s side failed to get another goal.
This was the I-League leaders' second successive draw after a six-match winning streak and they now have 21 points from nine matches, three more than traditional rivals Mohun Bagan, who also dropped points on Wednesday.
The Mariners threw away a chance to close the gap on East Bengal at the top of the I-League table as they played out their second consecutive goalless draw against Mumbai FC at the Cooperage Stadium.
With the draw, Mohun Bagan could only muster one point leaving them on 18 points from eight matches, three points adrift of their eternal foes, while Mumbai FC were placed eighth having finally broken a six-game losing streak.
However, the hosts were unlucky and left disappointed when Thoi Singh's stunner from the right flank was ruled out by the referee in the 18th minute. Bagan’s Darryl Duffy and Yusa Katsumi looked for opportunities, while Sony Norde, despite complaining of a niggling knee injury, started the game.
It was goalless at the end of the first period leaving both the teams frustrated. After the break, Santosh Kashyap’s Mumbai FC came close to scoring through its new Brazilian import Alex Willian Silva, whose free-kick in the 50th minute missed the post by an inch.
At the other end, Norde missed a sitter from just outside the box, skying his effort. Desperate times for Sanjoy Sen and he threw in Jeje Lalpekhlua in place of Shouvik Chakraborty to add gusto in the attack.
In the last 10 minutes, Katsumi and Norde tried their best to create chances, but to no avail and the scoreline stayed 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes.