Football

I-League: Real Kashmir rises to the top

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East Bengal concedes a draw

Real Kashmir FC's rock-solid resolve helped it earn a 1-1 draw with local heavyweight East Bengal and reach the top of the I-League table for the first time here on Friday.

Kashmir, unbeaten in six successive matches, is tied on 18 points with Chennai City FC and Neroca FC but climbed to the top on the basis of better goal difference.

The three sides were also tied on head-to-head count. East Bengal is fourth with 16 points.

In the first-half, which saw some missed opportunities and fine saves, East Bengal showed good coordination and kept applying pressure. However, below par finishing marred the sound build-ups.

While Jobby Justin's beautiful cross from the right was shot over by Jamie Colado in the eighth minute, Manoj Mohammed's lofted ball was well saved by ’keeper Bilal Husain. East Bengal continued to waste chances, including one when Brandon Vanlalremdika failed to reach a lovely pass from Laldanmawia Ralte from the right in the 32nd minute.

Kashmir, which guarded its post solidly and looked for counterattacks, had its share of opportunities. Abednedo Kofi’s attempt from the right was touched away by a jumping Rakshit Dagar under the bar. Kofi had a better chance when his attempt off a loose ball inside the box found the ’keeper in the 29th minute.

Kashmir succeeded 10 seconds after resumption. Defender Lalram Chullova's own goal, while trying to clear a Surchandra cross from the right, triggered celebrations in the touring camp. East Bengal drew parity 10 minutes later as Justin slotted in following Danish’s Farooq's fine goalline save off a corner.

The result: East Bengal 1 (Justin 56) drew with Real Kashmir 1 (Chullova-og 46).

At Imphal: Neroca 2 (Eduardo 24, Williams 69) bt Mohun Bagan 1 (Kisekka 63).

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:09:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/i-league-real-kashmir-rises-to-the-top/article25853134.ece

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