Substitute Abhishek Yadav's late goal helped Mumbai's Mahindra United hold Vasco to a 2-2 draw in the Oil PSU-seventh National Football League at the Nehru stadium in Margao, Goa, on Wednesday.
Dictating terms early in the first-half, Mahindra took the lead in the 31st minute through R C Prakash, but Vasco's Brazilian striker Marcos Pereira, who was at his best, restored parity minutes before the interval as the teams went into the breather locked 1-1.
In the second session, Vasco brought in Jules Alberto Dias for Sushant Mathew, midway in the first half. It enabled them hold ascendancy in the midfield. They deservedly took the lead in the 70th minute through Pereira, who, in the process, took his tally to five goals and become the leading scorer of the league.
Later he was named the man of the match and awarded Rs 5,000.
But Mahindra fought back in the closing stages, with substitute Yadav heading home in the 89th minute, after R C
Prakash's cross from the right popped infront of him after hitting Vasco goalkeeper Ramos's knee.
With this draw, Vasco now have 11 points from six matches while Mahindra have six points from as many outings.
Mahindra, who had put up a disappointing performance against Dempo in the last match, made a change today, bringing
in Prakash in place of Yadav upfront and their attack looked more purposeful. The Mumbai team, which had the early domination, forced five corners and could have taken an early lead but a Prakash chip was fisted over by keeper Ramos.