Defending champions Gokulam Kerala were held to a 2-2 draw by Army Red in their opening match of the Durand Cup football tournament here on Sunday. Gokulam scored through Rahim Osumanu (9th minute) and Sharif Mohammad (70th) while P Jain (30th) and Bikash Thapa (43rd) found the target for Army Red.
The Malabarians started on a positive note, courtesy a spectacular long-range goal from Ghanaian Rahim Osumanu but failed to capitalize in the later stages. Gokulam Kerala goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar got injured after a collision with Army Red's Mukesh Kumar and he was replaced by PA Ajmal.
The momentum of the game changed after that as Jain quickly scored the equaliser for Army Red. Minutes before half time, Bikash Thapa scored the second for Army Red and they had the all-important lead going into the second half.
Gokulam played an attacking game in second half and they had a brilliant opportunity to score but their captain Sharif Mohammad missed the target. He made up for it later, courtesy a spot kick. The Malabarians had several close chances towards the end of the match but failed to convert them.
Army Red still lead Group D with four points.