Kalyani: Mumbai FC rode on a stoppage time strike from Nicholas Rodrigues to hold United SC 1-1 in a Round 17 I-League fixture here on Wednesday.
The home side took the lead through Liberian Eric Brown just before the interval and held on to their slender lead till the end of regulation time as technical director Subrata Bhattacharya was eyeing a winning start to his new innings with United SC.
But in the first minute of the injury time, Mumbai's Yusif Yakubu was brought down just outside the United SC box and Rodrigues scored from the resulting freekick to take Mumbai five points clear of rock-bottom Rangdajied United FC.
United SC remain win-less in seven I-League games with 19 points from 16 outings.
United SC enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages with Brown looking dangerous but the former ONGC man was lacking support.
The first real chance fell to Shouvik Chakraborty after some fine work by Brown but the young midfielder put his header wide.
Mumbai FC hardly provided a threat going forward but Anwar Ali had a half chance when Sangram Mukherjee failed to collect a corner cleanly but the defender blasted his effort off target.
Midway through the first period, United SC created their best opening as Asif Kottayil played Shouvik through on goal but the young medio once again could not test Mumbai custodian Kunal Sawant.
There were very few chances for the rest of the half but United SC looked like scoring and the deadlock was broken by Brown. United SC debutant Adekunle Waheed played a lovely through pass for Brown, who found the back of the net with a fine finish.
The introduction of Ebi Sukore at the interval improved Mumbai's performance as they played with much more intensity but the visitors only went close from set-pieces with Sukore and Mohammed Rafi wasting golden opportunities from corners.
At the other end, United SC did not create too many clear chances with their final ball lacking quality and technical director Bhattacharya made defensive changes in a bid to protect the lead.