Mohun Bagan snatched a point against Maziya on Wednesday and made sure they remain undefeated in the AFC Cup 2016. The Mariners, leaders from Group G in the competition, drew 1-1 against the Maldivian side in Male.
Asadhulla scored for the home side in the second half, but Jeje Lalpekhlua equalised for Mohun Bagan right at the death. The draw also means that Maziya's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition is all but over. Bagan, on the other hand, have already qualified to the next round.
Maziya knew the importance of making a good start to the match and they did exactly that by keeping the ball possession and creating chances. The Mohun Bagan defence had to be steady throughout the first half as the likes of Asadhulla and Ahmed Imaaz came menacingly close to scoring in the first 45 minutes of the game.
For the home side, there was a huge opportunity to get a one-goal cushion by the 14th minute itself. Imaaz's free kick from just outside the box saw the ball get a deflection from the wall and hit the upright of the goal. However, the best chance fell for Maziya skipper Asadhulla in the 41st minute. The Maldives forward completely mistimed his volleyed attempt on goal and couldn't make much use of the brilliant pass from his teammate.
Although Mohun Bagan were mellowed down in the half, Cornell Glen had the best chance of scoring in the 33rd minute as the Trinidad & Tobago striker's header from a Raju Gaekwad cross was just tipped out of danger by Maziya custodian Hussain Shareef.
It was goalless at half time.
The Group G leaders had an enormous chance to get the lead by the start of the second half but Glen and Jeje couldn't make much use of the chance. The Maziya defence, then stepped up and thwarted all the efforts thereafter from Mohun Bagan.
The opening goal of the match came in the 65th minute and Maziya skipper Asadhulla was all over the scoresheet. Although the shot from the Maldives international got a deflection from Mohun Bagan defender Sanjay Balmuchu, the goal was credited to the Maldivian forward.
Maziya weren't done. Imaaz once again come close to scoring moments later but this time, Bagan custodian Arnab Das Sharma, playing his only second AFC Cup 2016 game, made the timely save. As the minutes passed on, the away side did all they could to get the equaliser. A goal line clearance by Maziya defender Ibrahim in the 80th minute seemed like it was all over by then for the Indian club.
However, there was a twist in the tale. It looked like Bagan were heading for their first defeat of the AFC Cup 2016, when Jeje Lalpekhlua's headed goal in the additional time following 90 minutes decided the fate of the match. Prabir Das, who had just moments back, missed a sitter, played the assist for the goal that drew the match.