Tamil Nadu struck twice in the second-half to defeat Mizoram 2-0, while hosts Bengal had to settle for a tame 1-1 draw against Delhi in the quarter-final group league of the 64th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy in Kolkata on Friday.
The win enabled Tamil Nadu take the lead in Group B with three points. Delhi and Bengal, with one point each, share the second spot, while Mizoram are yet to open their account.
The winners and runners-up of the group will make the semi-final cut.
In the first match of the day at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here, 29-times champions Bengal came back from behind through a Jayanta Sen strike late into the second-half to hold Delhi 1-1.
Playing under lights in the second match of the day, Mizoram's defence was nowhere to be seen as Tamil Nadu scored an easy goal through C S Sabeeth in the 62nd minute to go ahead.
Even though there were some loud cheers for Mizoram, the North-East side could not make inroads with Tamil Nadu striking their second through Rajesh in the 70th minute.
Playing their first match of the tournament after being directly seeded into the quarters, Tamil Nadu took some time to settle down as the first 45 minutes saw Mizoram create a few chances.
Beikhokhei, who plays for East Bengal, had a nice opportunity in the injury time of first-half from the edge of the box but failed to find the target.
Tamil Nadu defenders should also be given credit as they thwarted Mizoram's attempts late in the second-half with some fine goalline saves.
Earlier, last year's runners-up Bengal had a sedate start to their campaign in their group.
Delhi got their only chance in the 39th minute and their striker Tuishim Mashangva did not let it waste, giving them an early 1-0 lead much to the agony of the home side.
Scrappy performance with plenty of miss-passes did not help Bengal in utilising the opportunities.
Bengal almost looked to go down before a spirited Sen brought in the equaliser in the 86th minute to save the hosts from the ignominy at their home ground.
Playing under intermittent showers on the artificial turf of YBK, last year's runners-up Bengal started their first match casually but Delhi who have come through cluster stages were quick to adjust.
The Shabbir Ali-coached side had an opportunity in the 13th minute but their strikers Robin Singh and Tarif Ahmed failed to make use of the chance with the latter shooting over the woodwork in a one-on-one battle with goalkeeper Pronoy Roy.
TFA product Robin upfront was ineffective in Bengal's scheme of things as the tall and robust striker had many miss-passes not to combine well with Ahmed.
Delhi went 1-0 up with Bengal finding it difficult to settle down with a corner kick resulting in a goal in what could be termed as a lapse by Bengal goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.
Nandy failed to get hold of the ball from the deflection as an unmarked Mashangva headed the ball home to give Delhi the early advantage.
Barring Sen's strike, Bengal's script in the second-half was no different though they had more possession.
In the 71st minute, Denson Devadas missed the target, while Sen was unlucky in the 78th when his shot was saved by Roy.
But eight minutes later, Sen found the target with a powerful right-footer.
Bengal and Delhi now have one points each in the Group B.