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I-League 2018-19: Gritty Real Kashmir frustrates giants East Bengal

06:47 GMT+3 30/12/2018
East Bengal vs Real Kashmir
The Snow Leopards defended well against a strong East Bengal attack without star player Mason Robertson….

Real Kashmir’s dream run in their debut I-League season continued as they snatched a point from giants East Bengal at their home on Friday.

David Robertson’s side enjoyed a good run at their home where they played six out of their first seven matches. But the real test began when the newbies started travelling across the country.

So far the Snow Leopards have fared well in their first three away matches. They collected four points from South India which included a win against Chennai City and a draw against Gokulam Kerala.

They came to Kolkata to face the giants of Indian football and managed to take away a point against a side like East Bengal.

Real Kashmir played exactly the way an away team should play to churn out a positive result in their favour. They were never adventurous in attack and were sturdy in the middle and at the back.

Former East Bengal player Armand Bazie had a great outing as he managed to keep Lalrindika Ralte and Kassim Aidara under strict vigilance.

It has to be kept in mind that Kashmir’s main central defender Mason Robertson did not take part in their last two games which were against arguably the best two teams in I-League this year.

Mason has been a rock solid in Real Kashmir defence since the beginning of the season. So losing him ahead of the Chennai City match was a huge blow. But in his absence, Zambian defender Aaron Katebe has been stellar in the backline.

East Bengal dominated proceedings throughout the game but failed to run a riot against the gritty Kashmiris. Lalram Chullova’s own goal within 11 seconds into the second half gave the away team the lead but Jobby Justin's strike handed East Bengal a late equaliser.

The Red and Golds went all guns blazing after conceding the goal and practically played in Real Kashmir’s half in the second half. Credit goes to David Robertson’s side to hold on until the final whistle and take away a crucial point from the Kolkata club.