In a game of two halves in which United were reduced to ten men, both teams share the spoils as Mohammedan are still at the bottom of the table.
United SC drew 1-1 with Mohammedan Sporting at the Kalyani Stadium, Kolkata in a round 23 I-League encounter.
Both teams were looking for a win to ease their relegation fears, but in a match of two halves, neither side could capitalise on their chances. The result can prove to be quite damaging for Mohammedan who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
United made a couple of changes as Lalkamal Bhowmick and Tapan Maity were brought in place of Souvik Chakraborty and Jayanta Sen.
Five changes were made by Sanjoy Sen in his starting eleven as Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Collin Abranches, Ishfaq Ahmed, Rakesh Masih and Dhanarajan made way for Luciano Sobrosa, Taro Hasegawa, Samson Ramengmawia, Syed Rahim Nabi and Monirul Mondal.
Mohammedan had the early share of possession and their first chance came in the fourth minute. From a corner-kick, Hasegawa sent in a pinpoint delivery which saw Sobrosa head just wide.
The Black and Whites never really threatened the opposition despite seeing more of the ball. Both teams resorted to thumping the ball forward as the temperatures rose.
The next big chance of the game fell to United’s Eric Brown who received the ball from Bhowmick and brilliantly beat Sobrosa before unleashing an absolute belter of a shot that went just above the crossbar.
Abhijit Das and Monirul Mondal clashed soon after while vying for a cross sent in by Hasegawa and both went down. Das recovered enough to come off the field on his own legs but Mondal came worse and had to be stretchered off.
Josimar had a chance in the 36th minute as he received the ball inside the penalty box and played it for Penn Orji. The Nigerian midfielder chose to pass it for Hasegawa but an alert Sukhen Dey pulled off a brilliant sliding tackle.
The first goal of the game came in the 44th minute. Josimar lost the ball in United’s box but it fell to Orji who managed to sneak it in the melee to give Mohammedan a fortunate lead.
United hit back instantly when Biswajit Biswas placed it into the bottom right corner to restore parity before the half time, after Eric Brown went on a good run down the right and befooled the Mohammedan defense to send the ball in an unmarked space inside the box.
Mohammedan missed a glorious opportunity in the 54th minute as Orji found Israil Gurung who missed the target from five yards out, much to the disappointment of the Black and White fans assembled.
At the hour mark, Josimar’s poor first touch saw the ball move towards Rasaq. The Brazilian was allegedly fouled by the United SC centre-back but the referee chose to ignore calls for a penalty.
Bhowmick picked up two cards in the space of six minutes and was given his marching orders which left United SC to contend the final 20 minutes or so with ten-men.
Brown was the pick of the players as he went on a solo run down the middle and got the better of two Mohammedan defenders before Sobrosa brought him down. The ensuring free-kick was wasted by United SC as it hit the wall.
The Purple Brigade should have taken full points but were denied by the horizontal from Tapan Maity’s long ranger.Waheed Adenkunle had a chance to seal the match for United soon after when he was put through by Brown but managed to miss a sitter as his tame shot went into the gloves of Luis Barreto.
The match ended 1-1 and both teams left to rue missed chances, especially United SC who ended the game on a stronger note.