Ranti Martins and Cornell Glen cut frustrated figures for much of this not-of-the-greatest-quality Kolkata Derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, but the two deadly strikers of the I-League, took that one opportunity each that came their way to ensure this marquee match of India's national league would not end up being a damp squib.
After an underwhelming first hour or so of the match, the Kolkata Derby came alive, when Ranti Martins broke in behind Luciano Sabrosa to fire in a delightful volley to give East Bengal the lead on 63 minutes.
Mohun Bagan, though, showed why they are the I-League champions, coming back with a goal of their own 13 minutes from time, via a perfect Cornell Glen header to ensure this Kolkata Derby at the Salt Lake Stadium would end 1-1.
This is a derby match that not too many will remember for too long, with the first half of the match seeing more misplaced passed than accurate ones. It was almost as if both teams were playing with a bit of fear, worried about making the mistake which might cost them the goal.
That meant there were way too many passes straight to the opposition or aimless long balls, leaving the bright attackers like Martins, Glen, Sonny Norde and Do Dong-Hyun a frustrated bunch.
The derby desperately needed a goal to come alive, and that came via a wonderful finish from Martins. After Norde forced a simple save from the impressive Rehenesh at the other end, East Bengal broke quickly, and quick-as-a-flash a through ball was played through to the Nigerian, who struck a sweet-as-they-come first-time volley past Debjit Majumdar.
Bagan needed to show character and strength to come back into the match and at least salvage a point, and after a period of pressure, they found the equaliser. Norde swung in a right-footed freekick from the left, and Glen got in ahead of Arnab Mondal to power home a header past Rehenesh, who could not do enough to keep the ball from bulging the net.
Mohun Bagan looked the more likely to score the winner in the final 10 minutes of the match, with Norde causing problems cutting in from the left, but the East Bengal defence stood firm to ensure this Kolkata Derby would end 1-1.