KOLKATA: Sony Norde’s goal was cancelled out by Nestor Gordillo’s late strike as Mohun Bagan were held to a 1-1 draw by Chennai City FC in their 2018/19 I-League encounter on Saturday at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
On the balance of play, Mohun Bagan will feel they should have sneaked it as they dominated proceedings and created better goal-scoring chances in front of their home fans.
They will surely be kicking themselves for not burying numerous goal-scoring opportunities they created, especially in the opening stages of the encounter.
But in the end, the result was perhaps a fair reflection of the action on show. Both teams had periods of dominance and both had numerous scoring opportunities.
The game got off to a lively opening five minutes, with Mohun Bagan impressing with some neat football.
Sankarlal Chakraborty’s charges played with verve and used a short, sharp passing style to get beyond the Chennai City defense.
During one such attack, Sony created a moment of uncertainty in the Chennai City penalty area, but, fortunately, Chennai City defenders were able to clear the danger.
But once things settled down, both teams made sure they kept things tight and compact. Both defenses were organised and kept shape, and scoring chances were few and far between.
Nonetheless, Mohun Bagan gave a good account of themselves in the later stages of the first-half, and should have easily went into the half-time break two or three goals up.
Chennai City, on the other hand, sat back and tried to catch them on the counter, but in the end, both teams went into the break locked at 0-0.
The game burst into life after the interval. Chennai City goalkeeper Nauzet Santana was called into action in the first minute of the second-half and pulled off a stunning safe to deny Henry Kisekka.
Mariners were all over Chennai City and asking more and more questions. Santana produced another glorious save to keep Sankarlal Chakraboty’s charges at bay when he denied Pintu Mahata in a one-on-one inside the box, diving full length to stop the ball from going in.
But the pressure eventually told and Mohun Bagan stormed into the lead when Sony slotted from close range in the 50th minute after receiving the ball from midfield.
The setback served to awaken Chennai City from their slumber and they threw players forward with abandon, in search of an equalizer.
Alexander Jesuraj whipped a shot over the bar and Sandro Rodriguez was desperately unlucky when his goal-bound effort was blocked by the Mohun Bagan defense.
In the 74th minute substitute Ameerudeen Mohaideen was denied by the post on the left as hosts Mohun Bagan managed to hold on.
Again, though, the relentless pressure had an effect, and it was Nestor who got the all-important goal in the 81st minute to level the score for Chennai City.
Having scored, Chennai City showed more endeavour in attack and it took everything Mohun Bagan had left in their tank to deny the onslaught from Chennai City. Goalkeeper Sankar Roy also made a number of telling saves to a salvage a point for his side.
Following the draw, Chennai City continued to lead the log standings with 17 points from 7 matches while Mohun Bagan remain on fourth spot with 9 points from 6 matches.