Kolkata: A Sony Norde less Mohun Bagan succumbed to their second draw of the season against Shillong Lajong at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Thursday. Dipanada Dicka who just this weekend scored his debut goal for the Mariners, once again gave his side a valuable lead as early as the 12th minute, but Samuel Lalmuanpuia restored parity in the 72nd minute, to notch up a hard fought 1-1 draw and secure a point.
Dented with injuries to key players, Bagan gaffer rested both Sony Norde and Ansumana Kromah for the Lajong tie. The Mariners however didn’t seem to miss either when the match began, nearly taking the lead second minute into the match. Dipendu Dowry who was deployed on the left in-place of the Haitian, just like his senior floated a curled free-kick that was brought low by Shilton for Dicka, whose volley went above the bar.
It didn’t matter though. For the Cameroonian had given Bagan the lead 10 minutes later. Faizal Faiaz had earned a penalty when Rakesh Pradhan bought him down and Dicka didn’t hesitate to put one past his former team. The home team maintained their dominance throughout the first half with Lajong testing goalkeepr Shilton just once in the 22nd minute.
Looking for an equaliser Lajong coach Bobby Nongbet replaced Alen Deory with Samuel Lyngdoh, while Sen replied by bringing on Nikhil Kadam who made an impact on the wings from the very first touch. Bagan could have well scored another in the 56th minute but Dicka failed to score on an one-on-one situation.
Lajong didn’t miss though, equalising from a penalty, the second of the match. Captain Kingshuk Debnath brought down Aiman Al-Hagri as Lajong skipper Lalmuanpuia made it 1-1, from the spot.
Aiming to go all out in the last few minutes for a win, Bagan however were hit with a roadblock, when Eze Kingsley was shown a second yellow one minute after Lajong equalised. Dicka who was expected to lead the line in the absence of Norde and Kromah, failed to inspire squandering another glorious chance late into the game.