I-League: Punjab holds East Bengal to 1-1 draw

Girik Khosla's second-half equaliser cancelled out Ansumana Kromah's opener as Punjab FC restricted East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in the I-League on Thursday.

East Bengal

East Bengal celebrates Anusmana Kromah's opening goal.

East Bengal continued to shy away from a win at home for the fifth straight match when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Punjab FC in an I-league outing at the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday.

Liberian striker Ansumana Kromah put East Bengal ahead early in the first half before Girik Khosla found the equaliser for Punjab FC, minutes from the break to force the draw.

Desperately looking for a win at home, that has eluded it since December 14 when it beat TRAU FC, East Bengal started strongly and stamped its authority finding the lead in the ninth minute.

Making the most of a quick counter-attack, Spaniard Marcos Espada sent a through-pass to Kromah who was lurking outside the Punjab FC box. The Liberian found the back of the net with a rasping long-ranger.

Match highlights | East Bengal vs Punjab FC

Punjab FC tried to regroup after the early setback and could have found the equaliser in the 16th minute but Brazilian forward Valci Junior failed to connect a Makhan Chothe cross in front of an open goal. The visitor finally found the equaliser in the 40th when Khosla sent his volley home making the most of an assist from Brazilian winger Sergio Barboza.

East Bengal renewed its resolve to regain the lead after the change of ends but faltered in its objective as its attack struggled to find the desired finishing inside the opposition box. The worst of that happened in the 74th minute when Kromah floundered in front of an open goal.

The draw saw East Bengal moving to the ninth spot of the league standings with 12 points from 11 matches while Punjab FC remained in the second position with 18 points (12 matches).

The result: East Bengal 1 (Ansumana Kromah 9) drew with Punjab FC 1 (Girik Khosla 40).
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