Relegation-wary Mumbai FC almost pulled off a spectacular upset before Mohun Bagan rode on a Balwant Singh strike in the dying moments for a thrilling 2-2 draw in an I-League football match in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Mohun Bagan drew the first blood from a Sony Norde corner in the 12th minute when an unmarked Pritam Kotal headed the ball home after being fed by captain Katsumi Yusa from the near post at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.
In a stunning turnaround, Mumbai FC scored two goals in two minutes with Khangebam Thoi Singh striking the equaliser in the 20th before Victorino Fernandes handed them the lead.
Pratesh Shirodkar had a wayward shot from the right as Thoi showed fine reflexes to loop the ball over Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Majumder to open their account.
Before Mohun Bagan could settle down, Mumbai FC snatched the lead with Reagan Singh setting up Fernandes with a clincial cross inside the box.
The Mohun Bagan centre backs Eduardo Ferreira and Anas Edathodika were once again caught napping leaving a big gap as Fernandes easily went past them and tapped the ball in for their lead.
The Mariners’ defensive woes continued as Mumbai almost made it 3-1 at the halfway mark with Fernandes in the thick of action in front of Eduardo and he only managed to loop the ball skywards in front of an open net.
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, missed a slew of chances with a listless display in the midfield and the Santosh Kashyap-coached side sniffed their first win in 11 matches.
But a moment of brilliance from Norde in the 89th minute undid Mumbai’s fine effort.
The star Haitian sent in a fine cross to the far post where Balwant timed his header perfectly to find the net for their much-awaited equaliser.
With four minutes added, Mohun Bagan had a last shot at goal with Jeje Lalpekhlua, but his acrobatic effort flew over.
Earlier, in the 75th minute, Balwant was unlucky as his header hit the post.
Mohun Bagan also suffered an injury blow when their main goalkeeper Debjit was stretchered off the ground after being hit while getting hold of the ball in a battle with Fernandes as Shilton Paul was brought in.
Having lost their last round to Churchill Brothers, Mohun Bagan slipped further in the title race after dropping points as they are seven points behind leaders Aizawl FC with two matches in hand.
Mumbai, on the other hand, remained in the relegation zone with 10 points from 13 matches.