East Bengal equalised off a penalty in the final minute of injury-time to hold Churchill Brothers 1-1 in the I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday.

Jaime Santos found the leveller after Churchill had taken an early lead through Willis Plaza.

Attack mode

Looking to regain winning form after losing at home to current leader Mohun Bagan, Churchill got into attack mode right at the start.

With the hosts’ defence looking tentative, Churchill found the lead in the 10th minute.

Plaza, quite familiar with the conditions, having led the East Bengal attack for two seasons (2017 and 2018), made the most of it with a fine solo effort.

Collecting a long floater near the East Bengal box the Trinidadian international got the better of two defenders and found the net with a neat placement past goalkeeper Mirshad.

East Bengal regrouped quickly and almost found the equaliser in the 11th minute when Brandon Vanlelremdika was set up in the Churchill box by Santos.

However, the attempt missed the target from close.

East Bengal continued its quest for the equaliser after the break only to see its efforts falling flat in the striking zone.

With its strikers unable to put the desired finish on the many opportunities coming their way, a penalty in the 90+4th minute finally opened the goal route for East Bengal.

After substitute Ansumana Kromah was brought down by Churchill defender Suresh Meitei inside the box, Santos netted from the spot.

The result: East Bengal 1 (Jaime Santos 90+4-pen) drew with Churchill Brothers 1 (Willis Plaza 10).

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