Quess East Bengal defeated Real Kashmir 2-1 in an I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.

Enrique Esqueda bagged the first goal of the game for the Kolkata giants while Jaime Colado Santos increased their lead. Aaron Katebe reduced the arrears for the Kashmiri team, but it was not enough to prevent them crashing to a defeat.

The Red and Golds started without suspended striker Jobby Justin, as Esqueda started up front, supported by Santos, Kassim Aidara, Laldanmawia Ralte and Brandon Vanlalremdika. Ghanian striker Abednedo Kofi started ahead of Ivory Coast striker Gnohere Krizo.

Lalrindika Ralte set up the first chance of the game, when his free-kick met Aidara’s head, but Bilal Husain was on hand to save the shot. Danmawia Ralte set up Esqueda for the game’s opening goal when the Mizo winger’s cross was perfectly met by the Spaniard to put QEB 1-0 ahead.

Kofi then increased Real Kashmir’s woes when he was sent off for dissent towards referee Rown Arumughan, after the official had called the striker for a foul on Jhonny Acosta. Soon, East Bengal would double their advantage when Esqueda’s ball found Santos in the box and the Mexican volleyed it home.

Real Kashmir were given a lifeline when Rakshit Dagar brought Bazie Armand in the box as Katebe converted the ensuing spot-kick. Mason Robertson came close with a free-kick late on, but East Bengal held on for the three points.