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Air India hold Bagan 1-1, Mumbai club returns unconquered

Kolkata, Oct 3 (UNI) Unheralded Branco Cardozo saved Mohun Bagan from a possible defeat to level 1-1 with Air India as visitors return Mumbai unvanquished in two away matches in the second ONGC I-League match at Yuba Bharati Krirangan here tonight.

Air India struck home in the injury time of first half from a set piece move through Soccor Velho but debutant Branco Cardozo levelled the score for green and maroon just 20 minutes before the final whistle.

The drawn match earned Air India a point at the end of second round to take their total to two points from as many matches as the visitors held local runners up Mohammedan Sporting 1-1 in the opener earlier this week.

Domestic league winners Mohun Bagan were left with only one point from two matches as they lost to Mumbai FC 1-2 in the campaign earlier.

Bimal Ghosh praised his boys to withstand the pressure from two big clubs of the city and said their sojourn in Kolkata was a memorable one.

Bagan without their regular players like Bhaichung Bhutia, Dipak Mondol, Habibur Rahman and Sangram Mukherjee for injuries, began on some positive notes but good defensive from Air India made most of the attacks stingless.

When everyone was preparing for a break in the first half after third referee shown board for three minutes added time, Air India were awarded a free kick from outside the box.

Lurking Soccor Velho anticipating the ball swooped on before Shilton Paul could collect and deflected home 45 seconds into the added time (1-0).

But just like previous matches, the visitors could not hold the lead and conceded the equaliser when P C Lalwmpuiya from left flank fed Branco to level the score (1-1).

Air India had an opportunity to go for another goal in the final minutes but Shilton Paul this time fisted out an Emmanuel Ovieghara header.


Story first published: Friday, October 3, 2008, 22:04 [IST]
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