Mapusa: Churchill Brothers failed to regain their top position on Sunday as Prayag United twice came from behind to hold them to a 2-2 draw in the 20th round of the I-League played at Duler Stadium here. The draw keeps Churchill Brothers to the second position with 39 points from 18 matches, one point behind East Bengal who have played two matches more, occupying the top position with 40 points.
United Prayag United SC took their tally to 31 points from 20 matches. Churchill Brothers, who are looking to win the I-League title for the second time, started aggressively and had a great chance to surge ahead early in the match but Akram Mogbrabi failed to direct his header on target off a Steven Dias free-kick.
Prayag United made a counter move and C K Vineeth's attempt at the goal was blocked by Churchill Brother's defender Denzil Franco. Churchill midfielder Lenny Rodrigues played a pivotal role in the middle as he moved the ball around well and also covered the defence in the absence of suspended Dharmaraj Ravanan with Churchill putting pressure on the rival defence finally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.
Rodrigues earned a free-kick after Malswamtulunga tackled him from behind and Roberto Silva took the free kick from about 30 yards which saw the ball bounced awkwardly in front of Sangram Mukherjee. Antchouet's attempt then came off the right post before Moghrabi found the net with a header.
With central defender Bilal Najariane having quit the team and Dharamraj Ravanan suspended, Churchill Brother failed to keep Ranti Martins, the leading scorer of the tournament at bay. Ranti found the equaliser in the stoppage time of the first half. Lalkamal Bhowmick's cross was headed by Dhanachandra Singh, but the ball came off the post and fell to the feet of Ranti Martins who found the back of the net from close to have both the teams levelled 1-1 at half time.
After the change of ends, both sides showed a lot of urgency in their attack and Churchill Brothers again took the lead in the 61st minute when Roberto Silva converted the penalty which was awarded to them after keeper Sangram brought down Akram Moghrabi inside the box.
Prayag United regrouped and restored parity again four minutes latter when Mohammed Rafique found the net. Both the teams tried hard to find the winner but failed to score as first Churchill Brothers' Akram Moghrabi headed out a Roberto Silva cross and later Prayag United Ranti Martins shot wide off the mark after receiving a pass from Oram.