Real Kashmir jumped to top of the point standings following their hard-fought 1-1 draw against East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.
Lalramchullova scored an own goal to give Kashmir the lead in the first minute of the second-half before Jobby Justin netted the equaliser for East Bengal as both sides settled for a 1-1 draw.
The draw not just extended Kashmir’s unbeaten run to six matches – four of which have been victories – but also took them to top of the points table with 18 points from 10 games. Erstwhile leaders Chennai City have the same points from a match less but are behind on goal difference. East Bengal are on fourth with 16 from 9 games.
East Bengal started as the better side and could have gone ahead just 10 minutes into the encounter but Jaime Santos blasted over in front of an empty net, while Brandon Vanlalremdika failed to tap-in a Laldanmawia Ralte cross from close range.
The visitors had the equal number of chances but like East Bengal, failed to make most of their opportunities as Rakshit Dagar produced some wonderful saves from Koffi Tetteh and Gnohere Krizo to keep the home team alive in the contest after 45 minutes of play.
But back from the break Kashmir went ahead when Lalramchullova, in an attempt to clear a cross from Surchandra deflected the ball into his own net.
The home side gave an immediate response but were wasteful in the attacking third. And until Justin pounced on a loose ball to net the equaliser, it looked like East Bengal would go down to their third home defeat.
They came close to securing a late winner when Vanlalremdika found Santos clear on goal but Kashmir goalkeeper Bilal Khan parried it way to keep the scoreline unchanged and return with a vital away-point.