Langsning FC held league-leader Mohammedan Sporting to a 1-1 draw in a second division I-League encounter here at the Football Stadium on Monday.
Earlier, second-placed Bhawanipore FC dropped three points after going down to Rangdajied United.
Despite the mediocre display on Monday, the draw takes Mohammedan Sporting two points clear at the top (11 points). Bhawanipore FC and Mumbai Tigers trail with nine points each, in the race to qualify for the I-League main draw as one of the top two teams.
Mohammedan Sporting dominated in the first-half, and broke through with a goal in the 35th minute. South Korean striker, Wi Hyju, headed home an accurate cross from Noushak.
Before the opening goal, it was only the brilliance of Langsning FC goalkeeper Prem Kumar Singh which kept the Shillong team afloat.
A cleanly-struck volley by Jerry Zersingha from close range was stopped by an instinctive save, while a fierce Hyju strike from outside the box was tipped over.
It took a move of sublime quality to pull Langsning FC level. In the 60th minute, Joel Sunday headed a pass down near the half-line and ran around his first marker.
When a reinforcement stepped up, the Nigerian striker sailed past him with a authoritative push. Sunday then sprinted into the penalty area and slotted the ball into the goal at the far post with his left foot.
Langsning pressed forward after the equaliser, and once again, Sunday was in the thick of things. Ten minutes before full-time, the striker did well to get a shot on target off a wayward cross. The glancing header, however, failed to beat the goalkeeper.
For Mohammedan Sporting, the absence of Moroccan forward Younes Balthaw (who received a red card in the previous game) and the injured Alfred Jaryen proved costly.
In the first match of the day, a 43rd minute goal from Rangdajied United’s Babatunde consigned Bhawanipore FC to a 0-1 defeat.
Bhawanipore launched forward in search of the equaliser, but was frustrated by a smart ploy to kill time with a deliberate slow pace of play.
The results: Langsning FC 1 (Joel Sunday 60) drew with Mohammedan Sporting 1 (Wi Hyju 35); Bhawanipore FC 0 lost to Rangdajied United 1 (Babatunde 43).
Tuesday’s match: Southern Samity (Kolkata) vs Mumbai Tigers (2 p.m.).