Marcos De La Espada's second half strike helped East Bengal hold Real Kashmir to a 1-1 draw as the two sides started their I-League campaign by sharing the spoils in Kalyani, West Bengal on Wednesday. Gnohere Krizo gave Real Kashmir the lead in the 33rd minute but Espada's goal in the 77th minute confirmed a point for the hosts, who looked ragged in the first period despite bossing possession.
The visitors were on target with the first opportunity that they got as Krizo entered the box, went past Kassim Aidara and found the back of the net with a curling effort.
In the second half, the red and gold brigade coached by Spaniard Alejandro Menedez, wasted a lot of chances with Espada spurning three simple chances before the hour mark.
The hosts finally restored parity in the 77th minute when the Spanish forward scored from close after Juan Mera's low cross.
East Bengal looked for a late winner but in the end had to be content with a draw as Real Kashmir defended resolutely.