Real Kashmir FC defeated energetic Neroca FC in a hard fought match of I-League here on Wednesday.
A local boy Danish Farooq, who scored the solitary goal in the match emerged as a hero of the hard fought tie.
It was a tough match with visitors not letting hosts to take foot off the gas. They posed continuous threat from the start and made life difficult for hosts who needed win badly. In the end, hosts owing to the first half strike by Danish Farooq edged out Neroca FC by 1-0 to get back on winning ways.
With this important home win, Real Kashmir FC has jumped back to third place on points table with 22 points while as Neroca FC stayed in relegation zone at 10th place with 15 points. It was not an easy win for Real Kashmir as Neroca FC who badly needed a win continuously were looking for the goal.Earlier Real Kashmir FC coach David Robertson made just one change. ChesterpaulLyngdoh replaced Ritwik Kumar Das on the right flank as Das had flown back home. His father has passed away. As a mark of condolence tribute, Real Kashmir FC players and Neroca FC players played match with black arm bands.
Neroca FC coach Gift Raikhan made three changes in the lineup. Ronald Singh, ZodinglianaRalte and ChansoHoram replaced Dhananjoy Singh, Jiteshwor Singh and Subhash Singh.
The match got off to a slow start with both teams failing to get the footing and rhythm. There was full drama in the 11th minute as referee handed Neroca FC player OusamaneDiawara a red card and marching orders. After protests from the Neroca players, the referee consulted his assistants and decided to overturn his decision.
Neroca continued to press on and nearly scored a goal. Seeing visitors making continuous efforts, Real Kashmir changed its formation. They brought back Mason Robertson into defense and pushed Danish Farooq up along with Kullum Higginbotham and Robin Singh. The change of tactics proved to be a turning point as Real Kashmir FC shortly went on to a score goal which turned out to be a winning goal.
Danish Farooq broke the deadlock in 42nd minute when he found the back of the net with a clinical header of energetic ChesterpaulLyngdoh’s cross.
In the injury time, the hosts came close to double their lead twice. First Kallum Higginbotham won a loose ball from Diawara and entered the box before trying to place the ball into the net through the far post but failed to keep his shot on target. Then only minute later with second in half time whistle, Farooq received a long ball from FarhanGanie and tried to chip the ball over Bishorjit Singh from the edge of the box but the NEROCA goalkeeper did well to stop the ball from going in twice.
The second half continued as it was in first half with both sides looking for goals. Real Kashmir was dominant and looked settled in the changed formation. Real Kashmir FC won the match by 1-0.
In the post match press conference, Neroca FC coach said that he has no complaint with his team as they fought hard against a quality and tough side like Real Kashmir.
Real Kashmir coach David Robertson said that his side has got adaptability and this win proves that once again.