East Bengal salvages draw with late equaliser against Real Kashmir

Marcos Espada found a late equaliser to help East Bengal salvage a draw against Real Kashmir in their opening game of the I-League.

East Bengal celebrates the equaliser against Real Kashmir.   -  Twitter @ILeagueOfficial

East Bengal found a late equaliser from Marcos Espada to hold visitor Real Kashmir FC 1-1 in their opening assignment of the I-League at Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday. Real Kashmir went ahead midway through the opening half when Gnohere Krizo found the net for the visitor.

Still in search for its maiden I-League crown, the three-time NFL winner East Bengal started strongly but met a resolute visitor putting a tight vigil at the goal. The Real Kashmir goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa put paid to East Bengal’s hopes of an early break denying the host the few openings coming its way in the first quarter of the action.

AS IT HAPPENED

Real Kashmir put its counter-attacking plan to perfection in the 33rd minute when Krizo slotted home the first positive move coming from the visitor. The Ivory Coast forward latched on to a long ball from his own half and a miscommunication between the two East Bengal players – Kassim Aidara and Mehtab Singh – at the edge of the their own box presented him with the opportunity. Krizo made no mistake with his angular attempt that found the net.

East Bengal had a chance to draw level in the 37th minute when Aidara almost found the net but for an alert Kallum Higginbotham, who cleared from the goalline. Keeping up the pressure, East Bengal found another opening in the injury-time (40+2 minutes) but Espada saw his effort saved by Lachenpa.

East Bengal doubled its efforts after the break and finally got over the finishing problems in the 77th minute when Espada produced a nice flick on a Juan Mera pass to breach the defences of Lachenpa.
 

The result: East Bengal 1 (Marcos Espada 77) drew with Real Kashmir 1 (Gnohere Krizo 33)

 

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