I-League 2018-19: Real Kashmir see off Indian Arrows to register their first-ever top-flight win in Srinagar
A super strike from Surchandra Singh and a well-judged header from Bazie Armand saw Real Kashmir pull off a superb 2-0 win over Indian Arrows for their maiden victory at home on Sunday.
Srinagar: A super strike from Surchandra Singh and a well-judged header from Bazie Armand saw Real Kashmir pull off a superb 2-0 win over Indian Arrows for their maiden victory at home on Sunday.
Armand was rightfully adjudged the Hero of the Match for scoring a goal and playing a noticeable game in the midfield for the hosts.
With this win, Real Kashmir have now jumped up five spots to be placed at the 4th position with 7 points from 5 games.
The game began with I-League debutants Real Kashmir playing in Yellow while visitors Indian Arrows playing in orange.
The home side fondly known as the 'Snow Leopards' started the game on an attacking note, making an attempt as early as the first minute but were unable to find the back of the net.
The Arrows made a few attempts from both sides but couldn't convert one. On the other hand, Real Kashmir, who have been winless at home so far, seemed in a hurry to score as they played long balls more often, taking advantage of their heights as against the young visitors.
Real Kashmir finally found some respite when Surchandra made no mistake in finding the back of the net from a brilliant cross from Mason Lee Robertson. This was the first goal that Real Kashmir scored at home, making the fans go on a frenzy.
The first half, however, saw the Arrows holding a higher possession. In the final few minutes, they made a few attempts but nothing close enough to shake the sturdy Real Kashmir defence.
The first 45 minutes of the game came to an end with the home side Real Kashmir leading 1-0 against Indian Arrows.
The second half began with the Indian Arrows going on an attacking note but the young colts seemed unlucky as they failed to convert any opportunity that came their way.
The hosts made their first change pretty early in the second half bringing in the experienced Danish Farooq in place of Nagen Tamang in the 56th minute.
Soon after, Indian Arrows came very close to scoring when Vikram Pratap Singh failed to shoot on target from a long ball from Amarjit.
Then, Real Kashmir had a golden chance to double their lead but a powerless shot from Mason Robertson saw Prabhsukan Gill collecting the ball without any problem.
Real Kashmir picked up their tempo and doubled the lead in the 68th minute. It was a beautiful corner kick from Surchandra, followed by a lofted shot from Danish Farooq to Armand Bazie which saw the Cote D'ivorian make no mistake in doubling the lead from an excellent header.
The hosts came really close to adding a third to the scoreline but couldn't after Ravanan Dharmaraj failed to connect to the ball which was comfortably collected by Gill.
Indian Arrows were seen playing an organised game leading the possession but their inability to finish cost them the match.
Earlier, coach David Robertson started with one change bringing in Surchandra Singh instead of the regular Danish Farooq, while Floyd Pinto of the Indian Arrows started with three changes in the squad viz; Rahim Ali, Khumanthem Ninthoigamba and Vikram Pratap Singh.
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Goals by Judah Garcia (45th minute) and super-sub Songpu Singsit (72nd) ensured a victory for Gift Raikhan's side in a hard-fought game against the newcomers.
With few games remaining in the first stage, Jose Hevia's side cannot afford to lose points any further behind in the title race when they meet an opposition coached by their former gaffer Yan Law.
Fernando Varela's side have had some time to rest, and with top scorer Clayvin Zuniga back, they will be looking forward to getting back to winning ways.