Mohun Bagan showed signs of recovery from their prolonged form slump as they held Dempo Sports Club, Goa to a goalless draw in a ninth National Football League match in Kolkata on Sunday.
Playing their first match under new coach Amal Dutta, the city giants engaged in a defensive game and succeeded in their endeavour to bring home one point, so vital for their survival at this stage of the high profile league.
Barring a few stray chances that came on their way, the Goans also put up a similar display, thus reducing the match to a midfield muddle before a handful of crowd at the Salt Lake stadium.
The draw increased Bagan's tally to 16 points from 14 games. Dempo, on the other hand, moved to the top with 28 points from 14 matches, marginally ahead of East Bengal, who stand with 27 points from 13 outings.
Despite the lacklustre display in the middle, both the sides came across a few chances in either half, but fell short of converting any.
Brazilian striker Beto, the only striker available to the Bagan coach following the absence of Ashim Biswas and Sunil Chettri, toiled hard in the match.
Beto's effort earned him the man of the match award even though he missed a gilt edged chance in the 20th minute, when he headed a Mehtab Hussain centre straight to rival custodian Satish Kumar.