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I-League 2019-20: Marcos De La Espada's strike earns East Bengal a point

9:29 PM GMT+8 04/12/2019
East Bengal vs Real Kashmir
The Spanish striker's 77th minute equaliser saved East Bengal the blushes in their season opener....

Real Kashmir held East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in their first match of the I-League 2019-20 season on Wednesday at the Kalyani Stadium.

Gnohere Krizo gave Real Kashmir the lead in the 33rd minute but Marcos De La Espada's strike in the 77th minute confirmed a point for the hosts.

East Bengal started the match in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Marcos De La Espada spearheading the attack and Jaime Santos Colado operating behind him. David Robertson fielded his team in a traditional 4-4-2 shape with Krizo Kallum Michael upfront.

The Red and Golds dominated proceedings right from the off and the Snow Leopards focused mostly on holding their fort.

Real Kashmir scored from their first major attack in the 33rd minute as Krizo netted with a quality strike. Krizo entered the box to collect a long ball, went past Kassim Aidara and found the back of the net with a curling shot.

East Bengal failed to create goal-scoring opportunities in the first half despite seeing more of the ball. 

However, after the break, Alejandro Menedez's side went all guns blazing. Marcos De La Espada missed three simple chances before the hour mark before the hosts finally restored parity in the 77th minute.

The Spanish forward redeemed himself by scoring a simple tap-in from Juan Mera's low cross. The winger received a long ball on the left edge of the penalty box before cutting in and going past Aaron Katebe. Juan Mera sent a low ball towards the near post and Marcos flicked the ball into the net.

The Red and Golds continued to dominate proceedings thereafter but Robertson's boys made sure they left Kolkata with a point.