Shillong Lajong were held to a 1-1 stalemate by newcomers DSK Shivajians in an I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
It was Cameroonian striker Aser Pierrick Dipanda (60th minute) who gave the visitors the lead at the hour mark, but his strike was nullified by Boithang Haokip in the 74th minute.
After Friday’s draw, Lajong remain fifth on the league table with 11 points whereas DSK move up a rung to the eighth spot on the nine-team ladder with six points.
After a few cagey opening minutes, the first chance of the game fell for the hosts in the ninth minute as Haokip set up Uilliams Souza. The Brazilian’s strong shot was brilliantly kept out by rival goalkeeper Prosenjit Ghosh.
Next it was midfielder Rupert Nogrum who wasted a golden opportunity for Lajong by shooting wide from close range. Fabio Pena then side-netted his effort for the Reds a few minutes later after latching onto a ball on the right.
At the other end, DSK had two chances in quick succession but both were squandered by their forwards.
After the restart, it were DSK who pressed on the gas. Israil Gurung laid one for Indrajit Choutale but the latter smashed the ball over the cross piece from almost point blank range.
The visitors were finally rewarded for their attempts as Dipanda headed in a Juan Quero cross.
After the goal, DSK tried to hang onto their one-goal advantage by defending in numbers but in the 74th minute of the game Haokip managed to find the back of the rival goal with a clean strike from a free-kick which was won by Penn Orji at the edge of the penalty box.
Both sides could not take the chances that came their way after Haokip&’s equalizer and thus had to settle for a draw.