East Bengal wasted opportunities galore as bottom-rung Sporting Clube de Goa held the local side 1-1 in their round 23 I-League match at Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday.
Sporting Clube de Goa drew the first blood through a Joseph Pereira goal in the 12th minute while Syed Rahim Nabi scored the equaliser in the 40th minute.
East Bengal now have 25 points from 21 matches, while Sporting collected 21 from 23 matches.
Without their star striker Bhaichung Bhutia, East Bengal missed at least a dozen chances even as the home side dominated the proceedings right from the start in a match that saw the return of captain Rahim Nabi and Yusif Yakubu after an injury lay-off.
Abel Hammond and Yusif Yakubu lacked the spark upfront as Sporting Clube de Goa went 1-0 up with Pereira scoring from a through pass in what appeared a defensive lapse by Saumik Dey.
Three minutes later, Yakubu had a brilliant chance but he failed to convert the Nabi pass from the left.
With East Bengal having the maximum ball possession, they got another chance in the 18th minute but there was no damage to the Goan club as Nabi wasted the opportunity.
East Bengal kept on attacking but they lacked the spark as they remained goalless in front of a sparse home crowd.
In the 37th minute, Beingaichho Beiokhokhei had a one-on-one with the Sporting goalkeeper Felix D'Souza but the result was the same much to the disappointment of the local supporters.
The local giants, however, breathed a sigh of relief when Nabi finally found the back of the net to score the equaliser.
After the changeover, East Bengal brought in Sanju Pradhan and Alvito D'Cunha to mount pressure but there was no change in the script even as they had better share of chances.
In the 59th minute, Yakubu failed to score from a Hammond cross despite being in a strong position. Moments later, Hammond got a chance but the Ghanaian too failed to score from an angular shot.
Beiokhokhei had a chance in the 64th minute but Sporting goalkeeper Felix had a diving effort to save it.
Luck too deserted East Bengal. In the 73rd minute, from a Saumik centre, Yakubu headed but only to find the shot blocked by the post.
Mehtab Hossain, having placed himself in an advantageous position, tried to score from the rebound but he only managed to shoot directly to the Sporting goalkeeper.