I-league 2018-19: Real Kashmir held to a thrilling 2-2 draw by Indian Arrows

I-League Media
Rahul KP derails Real Kashmir's title charge...

Indian Arrows held real Kashmir to a 2-2 draw at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday afternoon.

Amarjit Singh (76') opened the scoring for Arrows which was equalised by Abednedo Tetteh (82'). Mason Robertson (89') helped Kasmir to get their noses in front but their lead was short-lived as substitute Rahul KP (90+1') found the net  in injury time.

Floyd Pinto handed a debut to lanky goalkeeper Lovepreet Singh who put in a decent performance in his first appearance in senior football. He was shielded by a four-man defence with Anwar Ali and Narender at the heart of it. Deepak Tangri and Amarjit Singh slotted in as a double pivot with RohitDanu upfront.

On the other hand, David Robertson fielded the strongest possible line-up with Danish Farooq, Gnohere Krizo and Mason Robertson all featuring in the starting eleven. 
There were not much to separate the two sides in the opening 10 minutes as both coaches decided to opt for the safety first approach. 

Kashmir gradually grew into the game but Arrows kept testing their opponent's defence in the counter. 

In the 19th minute, the visitors hit the crossbar when Krizo directed his header towards goal from a long throw-in by Robertson. A minute later the Ivorian had a clear sight of goal but his left-footed strike was negotiated for a corner by goalkeeper Lovepreet.

Indian Arrows suddenly sprung to life in the final five minutes of the half and Danu should have put his side into the lead after getting two clear cut opportunities to score from close range. On both the occasions he had the entire goal at his mercy but the 17-year old could not keep his shots on target.

Both sides lacked the finishing touch in front of goal as both of them could not make most of the opportunities that befell them.

Around the hour-mark, if Danish was guilty of firing his shot above the crossbar, on the other end Indian Arrows could not pull the trigger at the right moment allowing Kashmir's defence to recover at the nick of time.

Suddenly, both teams changed gears in the final quarter of the match and four goals were scored in the final 15 minutes.

In the 76th minute Dharmaraj Ravanan's handball inside the penalty box gave Arrows the opportunity to draw first blood and Amarjit did not disappoint from 12 yards out.

But the Snow Leopards soon found the equaliser through Abednedo Tetteh when the striker guided his header past Lovepreet from a corner floated in by Vicky Meetei.

The travelling side would find another one in the 89th minute when Robertson scored after connecting brilliantly to a cross from the right  flank by Vicky.

But Indian Arrows substitute Rahul was the show-stopper as he beat Loveday Okechukwu in the air and headed Anwar Ali's free-kick at the back of the net to earn a point for his team.

Indian Arrows will next face Mohun Bagan on February 28 whereas Real Kashmir will lock horns against East Bengal  on the same day in Srinagar.