Calcutta: Tollygunge Agragami fell through their own loophole at the East Bengal ground Monday. In an IFA Shield match they simply had to win, they muffed several chances and went into the red before managing to draw level versus Churchill Brothers.
Tollygunge now have just one point from two matches in group A. Their only distant possibility of moving now is an unlikely win over East Bengal. Churchill have two points from the same number of encounters, and they too can move up with a win over East Bengal who have earned full points from their first outing.
Kasif Jamal scored in the 57th minute to put Churchill ahead and Mehtab Hossain managed to bring the home team back at par ten minutes later.
The Churchill boys were hard workers, but Tollygunge dominated proceedings. Yet, every time those short, square-passing efforts managed to reach the goalmouth, the Tollygunge attackersí knees seemed to collapse. The trend started in the tenth minute, when Deb Kumar Sasmal passed to Mehtab and Sandip Dasí shot came off a defender.
Then, there was the Roque Barreto shot, a little later, which came off the crosspiece. To the other side in the 41st minute, a Mehtab pass to Akeem Abolanle resulted in the latter shooting wide from close.
Soon after changeover a Laltu Das shot from inside the box was saved well by Churchill Brothers goalkeeper Edward Ansah. Tollygunge were attacking still, but on the other side Kasif Jamal sent home a powerful left-footed volley from top of the box off a breakaway attack. That was also only the third positive shot at rival goal by Churchill.
Mehtabís goal was also spectacular, the only saving grace of an otherwise forgettable match. From nearly 25 yards off, Mehtabís powerful, rising volley had Ansah stretching, but the ball slipped in past the far post.
Churchill Brothers: Edward Ansah, Denzie Ferraro, Pio Rodrigues, Noel Wilson, Rajesh Meetei, Roque Barreto (Zaheer Abbas, 69), Aqueel Ansari, Kasif Jamal, Kanta Singh, Pritam Bahadur (Anil Kumar, 85), Yusif Yakubu.
Tollygunge Agragami: Amar Deb, Manas Das, Isiaka Awoyemi, Deb Kumar Sasmal, Mehtab Hossain, Sandip Das, Dipayan Majumder, Srikanta Dutta, Sujoy Dutta, Laltu Das (Amitava Chanda, 76), Akeem Abolanle.
Referee: S. Suresh (Tamil Nadu).