Football

Espada saves East Bengal against Real Kashmir in 13th I-league

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His 77th-minute goal cancels out Krizo’s strike for Real

East Bengal scored a late equaliser through Marcos Espada to hold Real Kashmir FC 1-1 in their opening assignment of the 13th edition of the I-League at the Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday.

Real went ahead midway through the opening half when Gnohere Krizo found the target.

Still in search of its maiden I-League crown, three-time NFL winner East Bengal began well but was thwarted by the visitors’ tight defence and Real goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa.

In the 33rd minute, Real’s counterattack was planned and executed perfectly, Krizo slotting home off the team’s first big move.

The Ivory Coast forward latched on to a long ball from his own half and a miscommunication between East Bengal defenders Kassim Aidara and Mehtab Signh at the top of the box presented him an opportunity.

Krizo made no mistake, his angular shot beating the East Bengal custodian.

The Kolkata giant had a chance to draw level four minutes later through Aidara, but an alert Kallum Higginbotham cleared from the line.

Keeping up the pressure, East Bengal found another opening in injury time (45+2), but Espada’s effort was blocked by Lachenpa.

East Bengal doubled its efforts after the break and finally got it right in the 77th minute when Espada’s fine flick off a Juan Mera pass beat Lachenpa.

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

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:22:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/espada-saves-east-bengal-against-real-kashmir-in-13th-i-league/article30169467.ece

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