Fransa Pax came from behind to hold Salgaocar to a 2-2 draw in a 21st round National Football League match, marred by rough play, at the Nehru stadium in Margoa, Goa [ Images ], on Friday.
After a barren first half, Salgaocar scored through Felix Ibrebru (47th minute) and Bento Vaz (88th) while Fransa fought back and equalised through Jules Alberto (85th) and Biju Kumar (injury time).
The draw took Salgaocar's tally to 25 points from 21 matches and kept them in seventh place.
Fransa Pax, who are on fifth place, have 30 points from as many matches.
The match saw as many three players getting red card for rough play.
Fransa suffered a setback in the 20th minute when Benjamin Ansah got marching orders from referee Bharat Mani for unnecessarily elbowing Salgaocar's Micky Fernandes when the ball was not in play.
Salgaocar, who held territorial advantage over their rivals, made repeated forays but failed to score as keeper Kalyan Chubey, who earlier fumbled twice while collecting the ball cleanly off a long ranger from Felix Ibrebru and Samson Singh, made a diving save off a Bello Rasaq header.
Salgaocar surged ahead after the interval, in the 47th minute, when Felix Ibrebru tapped home a loose ball after keeper Kalyan failed to collect a fierce shot off Fabio Passo.
Two minutes later, Micky Fernandes could have increased the lead but Kalyan bought off a good save, punching the ball over.
Fransa, who preferred playing a physical game instead of going for the ball, were further reduced to nine men when Sebastiao Endro was sent out for a dangerous tackle on substitute Bhuvan Joshi.
Fransa came up with counter moves and equalised in the 85th minute when Jules Alberto scored off a Peter Rodrigues cross from the right.
Salgaocar was reduced to ten men in the last quarter of the match when Micky Fernandes got marching orders for hitting Ambalath Suiman.
Biju Kumar got the equaliser in the dying minutes.