Mohun Bagan maintained its position at the top of the I-League standings with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against host Punjab FC here on Tuesday.
Bagan now has 14 points from seven games while Punjab moves one place up to second with 11 points from eight.
The visitor’s Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna named an unchanged starting line-up from its previous solitary goal victory against the Indian Arrows. Punjab’s Yan Law, however, made two changes, bringing in Dicka and Samuel Shadap in place of Girik Khosla and Thoiba Singh, who had started the previous game.
At the end of the game, Bagan’s four-match winning streak was halted but Punjab managed to maintain, what is now a seven-game unbeaten run.
The Kolkata giants was the more attacking off the blocks, but Punjab played the off-side trap to perfection to thwart any clear attacks on goal save a Fran Gonzalez effort early on.
Punjab, which had been working well on the set-pieces, then went ahead off a corner which was taken short by Sanju Pradhan from the right. Cavin Lobo then floated in a cross, dropping mid-way into the Bagan six-yard box. A lurking Dicka met it with a superb side-volley, body still in air and holding off a defender, all in one action. It wrong-footed and stunned Sankar Roy in the Bagan goal to give the host a valuable lead.
The Kolkata side piled up the pressure after conceding right till the half-time whistle, but the equaliser remained elusive.