Barely a minute had passed when Ishfaq made a cutting run through the left and made a short centre which Bhaichung receiving acrobatically evaded two East Bengal defenders and then squeezed in a bullet through Subrata Pal's legs. Bagan were up 1-0!
The slushy condition made playing football a tough job as both the teams tried hard to make any headway. Bagan defense with Habibur back in the side seemed confident and with Barreto and Bhaichung upfront with Ishfaq making cutting runs into the East Bengal defense seemed good enough for Bagan, until Marcos spilled the beans and gifted Yakubu with a ball inside the Bagan half. Yakubu made some progress with the ball and sent in a through to Syed Rahim Nabi and Nabi placed the equaliser for East Bengal past Shilton as Bagan defense stood ball watching.
The equaliser came late in the half and till the end of the first half, it was 1-1.
With the beginning of the second half, Shilton was replaced by Sangram and the most interesting incident of the half followed just minutes later as Rakesh Masih flew in with a sliding tackle on East Bengal side back Surkumar. Surkumar retaliated with a foot-stab on Rakesh and then followed it with a punch that threw Bhaichung down who had come to cool his temper. Surkumar received the marching order from the Referee and the East Bengal goalie Subrata Pal ensured a booking for himself as he kept spitting insults at the referee. Except this incident there is hardly anything to talk about that happened in the second half.
What would hurt Karim and the Bagan fans is that Mohun Bagan failed to capitalise and force the issue against a ten men East Bengal side. Mohun Bagan surprisingly came up with very ordinary display of football in the second half and did not seem to threaten Subrata Pal, who however, could have received another yellow card for his excessive time wasting tactics.
The team seemed to lack the drive even after going 5 matches without a win and Karim will be having his handful for the rest of the I League handling pressure from both ends.