I-League toppers Dempo SC have escaped with a point in a match, which looked already safe for hosts Mohun Bagan AC. Koko Sakibu scored for the Goans to secure a 2-2 draw at the Saltlake Stadium on Sunday.
Dempo took an early lead, when Ranti Martins Soleye found the back of the net in the 4th minute. Indian international Syed Rahim Nabi handled the ball in the box and the Goans were awarded a penalty. Ranti Martins Soleye took the penalty and slotted it home from the spot.
Mohun Bagan missed a chance to level the score in the 23rd minute, when a Jose Ramirez Barreto shot was handled and Odafe Onyeka Okolie hit the post on the resulting penalty.
But the match took an u-turn, when Odafe found the target only thre minutes later. Odafe collected a pass by India striker Sunil Chhetri, powered his way past Samir Naik, rounded past keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury and hit the target to level the score. Things even looked better for Mohun Bagan, when the Nigerian scored his second goal of the day in the 33rd minute of the game.
It seemed like Mohun Bagan could pull a crucial victory and even make the I-League title hunt more interesting. But Dempo managed to score once again, when Ranti Martins Soleye flicked on a long ball from Climax Lawrence to Koko Sakibo. Sakibo calmly converted the chance and made it 2-2.
The draw consolidates Dempo’s position at the top of the table on 47 points from 22 matches. East Bengal is placed second in the I-League table with 41 points ahead of Pune FC (40 points).