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 November 19, 2002 | 2026 IST

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Mohun Bagan lucky to hold Vasco

Defending champion Mohun Bagan were in a spot of bother but held on to a 1-1 draw against Vasco in their opening match of the Oil PSU 7th National Football League at the Nehru Stadium, in Margao on Tuesday.

Bagan drew first blood off a quick counter attack in the seventh minute. Medio Renedy Singh charged down the left flank to fire in a cross and keeper Rogerio Ramos, who charged out to thwart the effort, failed to convincingly clear the ball. The ball fell kindly for striker S K Sanjib, who slotted home the ball without much ado.

Vasco, who dominated the match throughout, restored parity in the 67th minute through a penalty by striker Rui Wanderlei Weis.

Referee S Suresh pointed to the spot after a Riston Rodrigues volley hit defender Isa Musah Eroje's left hand inside the box.

Rui converted placing the ball to 'keeper Rajat Ghosh Dastidar's left.

Vasco played freely with striker Rui Wanderlei Weis and Marcos Pereira combined well with mid-fielder Abhay Kumar who constantly fed them with overhead passes.

However, lady luck deserted Vasco with Marcus, who had four scoring chances, hitting the woodwork twice.

At the other end, Bagan, who started Sunil Chettri and S K Sanjib upfront in place of injured Jose Barretto and Baichung Bhutia, failed to impress.

Bhutia, brought in late in the second half, could not make any impact on the rival defence who allowed him no room to operate.

Complete Coverage: 7th National Football League 2002-03