Kolkata: David Lalrinmuana curled in a superb, world class free-kick deep into second half injury time as Aizawl FC earned a last gasp 2-2 draw against title contenders Mohun Bagan in an I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here on Saturday.
Lalkhawpuimawia (29th minute) put the visitors in front but it was cancelled out by Lalchawnkima (43th) just minutes before half-time.
Star Haitian marksman Sony Norde — making a comeback after a nine-month break — helped the hosts take the lead for the first time in the game in the 69th minute, eight minutes after coming on from the bench but David Lalrinmuana’s (90+3′) free-kick ensured that the north east side did not leave empty-handed.
Mohun Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty made one change to the starting line-up that drew against Gokulam Kerala last Saturday as Yuta Kinowaki started ahead of Sourav Das at the centre of the park. Sankar Roy continued in goal.
Aizawl coach Gift Raikhan ringed in four changes to the side that lost 1-2 to Shillong Lajong in their previous match. Lalrinchhana Tochhawng and Paul Ramfangzuava were left out of the matchday squad while Remsanga and Leonce Dodoz were relegated to the bench.
Aizawl were the better side in the opening exchanges but once Mohun Bagan’s midfield got a grip of the game, they bossed possession.
In the 17th minute, Dipanda Dicka found Henry Kisekka Kareem rushed back to make a last-ditch tackle and dispossess the striker. In the 29th minute, Mapuia scored the opener for Aizawl with a 25-yard strike as Mohun Bagan’s defence failed to close him down.
Bagan continued to dominate possession and got their reward in the 43rd minute when Lalchhawnkima produced an exquisite finish into the top corner from a corner by Mahata.
After the break, Mohun Bagan upped the ante but failed to get past Aizawl defence. Norde was introduced after the hour mark in place of Omar to shake things up in the attack.
Norde received a rousing welcome from the Bagan faithful and straightway started to impact proceedings with his mazy runs on the left flank. Norde then made a trademark run to skip past a couple of defenders and slam home into the far corner from an acute angle.
David Lalrinmuana then broke Mohun Bagan hearts when he curled in a set-piece screamer from 32 yards out in injury time.