Ten-man Mohammedan Sporting lost 4-5 to Shillong Lajong in arguably one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Ashim Biswas had handed the home side an early lead which was soon cancelled by Cornell Glen from the spot with Luis Barretto getting his marching orders. The first half finished with Lajong leading 3-2 but goals from Josimar Da Silva once again gave hope to the Kolkata outfit. However goals from Subash Singh and Glen gave them a two-goal advantage. Josimar did manage to pull one back but they failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way and hence missed out on three points.
Sanjoy Sen decided to start with Josimar Da Silva upfront with Penn Orji operating from behind while Ashim Biswas and Basanta Singh were the two wingers.
Thangboi Singto had Cornell Glen operating as the lone striker while Uilliams Silva was lurking behind in a number ten role.
The away side were out of the blocks the quicker of the two as Uilliams pushed on past Dhanarajan with a quick burst of acceleration but could not get a cross in the box.
However Mohammedan opened the scoring through Ashim Biswas in the fifth minute itself after he snuck in at the far post and headed in a peach of a cross from Basanta Singh.
The Black and Whites had two more chances before the tenth minute which they wasted. Josimar who jostled his way past Minchol Son before scuffing his final shot and later, it was Penn Orji who tried to hit a half volley from the edge of the box after Phoolchand Hembram played him on.
Disaster struck for Mohammedan in the 12th minute as Luis Baretto was sent off for tripping Boithang Haokip in the penalty box after Dhanarajan was easily beaten in possession. It was a slightly contentious sending off as Dhanarajan had sprinted back to cover at the goal-line.
Cornell Glen made no mistake and sent substitute goalkeeper Ashok Singh the wrong way, dispatching the penalty with ease in the 15th minute.
Manish Maithani managed to slice the ball over, from close range in the 19th minute after Josimar cushioned a header towards him from a Penn Orji free kick.
Shillong made their numerical advantage count and took the lead in the 29th minute as Subash Singh was first to the ball after Uilliams Silva crossed from the byline on the left giving Ashok Singh no chance.
Mohammedan wasted no time and equalised five minutes later after some good work from Josimar who held the ball on the left before cutting in and placing it onto Penn's path whose mishit saw the ball loop over the goalkeeper into the back of the net.
Josimar could have given the home side the lead just two minutes later as he managed to go down the right but his shot across the goal was tipped wide by Lalthuammawia Ralte who was at full stretch.
However Cornell Glen had the last laugh before the end of the first half as he completed his brace in the 43rd minute after beautifully turning in Robin Gurung's cross from the right and that was without taking a second touch.
Mohammedan made their intentions know at the start of the second half. A long ball from midfield found Josimar taking Fanai for a spin on the right before smashing it past a helpless Ralte to bring the game on level terms.
The Brazilian had two further chances as he darted down the right but on both occasions, Ralte came to the rescue as he managed to make himself big to save the day.
Sanjoy Sen's men had a glorious opportunity to get into the lead as Lallawmzuala had tripped Josimar in the penalty box as he was about to shoot. Luciano Sobrosa stepped up to take the spot kick but Ralte guessed right and pulled off a stunning save at the hour mark.
Lajong made them pay for the missed chance as Uilliams sent in a free kick after Glen was fouled. Minchol Son cushioned a header towards an unmarked Subash Singh who smashed it in to give his team the lead for the third time now in the 69th minute.
Glen left Sobrosa sprawling on the ground before being shaken off the ball by Mehrajuddin Wadoo. The ensuing rebound from Seikhohao Tuboi only found the post before hitting Ashok Singh and going out for a corner.
From the ensuing corner-kick, Glen completed his hat trick as he smashed home a perfect Uilliams delivery from the left.
The game was lit up again after Penn turned brilliantly on the half line before accelerating past his marker and put in an inch perfect through ball for Josimar to chase who this time made no mistake and smashed it past Ralte who was off his line with about ten minutes to go.
The nine goal thriller somehow was goal less for the last ten minutes as the inspired Mohammedan comeback was cut short as Shillong held on to take it 5-4. The defeat leaves them with 21 points with only a solitary match to go.