United Sports Club continued to remain a big hurdle for local giant East Bengal, which was held 1-1 in a 11th round match of the I-League here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday.
Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi put East Bengal in the lead midway through the first half, but Dhanachandra Singh negated the advantage with a 59th minute equaliser.
East Bengal, which has often stumbled against the same opponent in previous meetings in the league, was unable to break the organised approach of United SC.
It began strongly — an early opportunity was denied when a penalty claim was overturned by referee K. Singh on the advice of his line assistant, and Chidi was booked for simulation instead. The Nigerian made up for the controversial decision by scoring a fine goal in the 32nd minute.
East Bengal, which appeared to have regained its tempo under new coach Armando Colaco by beating traditional rival Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the previous round, failed to keep up the momentum as United SC took control in the second half.
United SC, which has emerged as a successful outfit under Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie, was rewarded for its efforts in the 59th minute when defender Dhanachandra Singh nodded home from a Souvik Chakraborty corner.
The draw put United SC on 16 points from 10 matches, while East Bengal tallied 11 from seven.
The result: East Bengal 1 (Edeh Chidi 32) drew with United Sports Club 1 (Dhanachandra Singh 59).