THE OPENING DAY of the 123rd edition saw four simultaneous matches take place in different stadiums in Kolkata.
While Mohammedan Sporting began their campaign with a commanding win and Gokulam Kerala FC got upset by an injury time goal, the other two I-League clubs saw much tougher outings in what were essentially their first competitive matches of the season.
Real Kashmir FC took on Peerless SC at the East Bengal Ground and the first half was full of action. It was Peerless who took the lead 20 minutes in through Uttam Rai. But minutes later Chesterpaul Lyngdoh got RKFC back into the game with his equalizer. Then 32 minutes in, Real Kashmir's local hero Danish Farooq scored to put the Snow Leopards ahead.
The lead held on till the end and RKFC got themselves a healthy win to start the season, putting them a strong position in Group B ahead of their last group stage match against Aryan Club on 9th December.
Meanwhile, Indian Arrows got held to a draw by Southern Samity at the Mohun Bagan Ground. Gurkirat Singh got the lead for Arrows 29 minutes in and the youngsters held onto the lead almost through the game but about 10 minutes before the end of the match, Sujit Saren got Southern Samity level.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw, putting Group C in balance. The Arrows will be back in action on 9th December taking on another CFL side George Telegraph, where a place in the semi-final will be up for grabs for all 3 teams in the group.