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 April 15, 2002 | 1900 IST

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Salgaocar rally to hold East Bengal 1-1

Defending champions East Bengal's hopes of improving their position on the points table received a setback as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Salgaocar in their last Tata National Football League match in Kolkata on Monday.

The home team raised hopes of a victory by forging ahead late in the opening session when Jose Carlos converted a penalty, but the spirited Goans neutralised the lead midway through the second session when striker Alex Ambrose found the net.

The result came as a big disappointment for the glamour club who seemed determined to log three points from the home match and climb a little higher on the final placings.

With this drawn encounter, Salgaocar took the fourth position finishing their league engagements with 39 points while East Bengal had to be content with the fifth position with 36 points.

Both teams, out of reckoning for the coveted title, had only pride to play for but did not seem to lack motivation as they unleashed a series of attacks and counter attacks to set the pace of the game.

East Bengal were reduced to ten players midway through the second session as Jose Carlos was given marching orders by referee S M Balu for arguing with him.

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