Substitute Vimal Pariyars injury-time goal helped reigning champions Churchill Brothers, Goa [ Images ], escape defeat and hold a spirited Viva Kerala [ Images ] to a 1-1 draw in thier ONGC [ Get Quote ] I-League football match in Kozhikode on Thursday.
Viva Kerala were hoping to cruise through the match thanks to an early 1-0 lead, but Pariyar scored the all-important equaliser much to the disappointment of the home crowd that was rooting for their side to score what would have been their second straight win after they beat Dempo team in their previous outing in Kozhikode.
Rahul P seized the initiative for the host team, neatly connecting a pass from their Nigerian star player Reuben Senyo in the 37th minute.
The Kerala outfit had quite a few chances in the second session but failed to capitalize on them.
Viva Kerala have 19 points after 19 matches while Churchill Brothers are placed third with 26 points.
Viva Kerala takes on Mahindra in the next home match on March 22.