Kashmir would host popular and historic football club of Country, Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata at Synthetic Turf, TRC Ground, here on Thursday.
The Kolkatta side would be playing its away match of 2nd division I-League main round against hosts, Lone Star Kashmir FC.
It would be first time that well known football club of the Country would be playing its I-League match in Valley. Though they have played in Kashmir on several occasions but they never competed in I-League clash before. Lone Star Kashmir FC being first ever I-League level club of State has been able to play its all home matches in Valley this season. In the qualifying round they were able to grab maximum benefit of home conditions and support which helped them to sneak into main round.
In the main round of the league so far Kashmir FC has played three away matches in which they suffered defeat in two and where able to draw one. One of the away clashes was against the Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata in which Kolkatta side emerged winner.
With away fixtures not going Kashmir FC way, the tie becomes important for the hosts as they would like to carry momentum forward for their upcoming home matches. In league football, every side likes to grab maximum points in home matches and push for draws in away clash. For each side their home turf becomes fortress while as away win is considered as bonus. Though in qualifying round, Kashmir FC were able to perform decently in front of home supporters, the main round matches are different ball game. The opponents are stronger and better. Each side has boosted their squad by including some of the known names of Country's football. However, the Kashmir FC has kept its squad similar to the qualifying round and is keeping its confidence on the youngsters who mostly belong to State.
Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata team will arrive in Srinagar on Wednesday while as match referees and other match staff has already arrived.
"It is our first home match of the main round. In the away match against Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata we lost by 1-0. If we would not have missed the penalty in closing minutes we would walked away with vital draw," said Kashmir FC coach.
"In the main round every side is well balanced and boosts some of the known faces of Countries football. Almost all sides have included foreiener4s and it is only Kashmir FC that is not having any foreigner. I believe in boosting my own youngsters by giving them chance to shine at highest level. It is about developing the future talent as our youngsters have already shown what they are capable of," he said.
He said that Kashmir FC thrives on the support of its fan and he expects them to continue support.
"I am confident that with the backing of the fans that have been supporting us all along we will be able to beat Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata," he said.