I-League | Real Kashmir FC beat Aizawl FC 2-1 to extend its winning streak

I-League | Real Kashmir FC beat Aizawl FC 2-1 to extend its winning streak
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Srinagar, Feb 21: Real Kashmir FC beat Aizawl FC 2-1 in the I-League game on Tuesday at TRC Turf Stadium, keeping up their winning record under a new coach.

Real Kashmir won Tuesday's match against Aizawl FC, maintaining its unblemished home record, after controlling the majority of the game.

At the outset of the game, Real Kashmir began playing attacking football. They did not, however, succeed in scoring on their chances. The game picked up steam after a scoreless first half when Aizawl scored the opening goal to take the lead. The stalemate was eventually turned around by the hosts, who scored twice in a five-minute span.

Real Kashmir could have taken the lead in the seventh minute but Samuel Kynshi’s right-footed free-kick from just outside the Aizawl box did not swing in enough and hit the near the post before going out.

Kynshi also tried to curl in a right-footer through the far post in the 18th minute, but it went wide. His relentlessness would have paid off immediately had Ernest Boateng been able to get a touch on his cross from the left.

Aizawl goalkeeper Lalmuansanga’s uneasiness with the aerial ball became clear in the second half and eventually destroyed his team’s hopes. It first came to the fore in the 60th minute. Jestin George came up with one of those long throw-ins from the left flank and Lalmuansanga completely missed the flight. Fortunately for him, Real Kashmir’s Balwinder Singh, waiting in front of the goal, missed it too.

The Aizawl custodian was once again out of position six minutes later as George crossed into the box. Winger R Ramdinthara failed to clear, and the ball went to Akashdeep on the left. His shot was saved from the goalline by Aizawl’s Japanese defender Akito Saito.

But it seemed none of those defensive lapses would matter when Lalramsanga scored in the 75th minute. Lalchhanhima Sailo received a pass from the right and played a nice one-two with Lalramsanga, who fired a grounded strike into the corner of the net with his left foot.

But the joy did not last long as four minutes later, Lalmuansanga spilt Wadudu Yakubu’s innocuous lob from far, in spite of the fact that nobody was pressing on him. George was close by and calmly used his left foot to make it 1-1. Saito did make another sliding attempt at a goalline save but did not succeed this time around.

Real Kashmir’s dominance of the left-wing settled the issue in the 84th minute as left-back Akashdeep Singh moved into the Aizawl box and managed to cut it back for Kynshi, while two defenders were left watching. This time Lalmuansanga was right there at the first post, but Kynshi’s right footer was too powerful and too high for him.

The win took Real Kashmir to 26 points from 18 matches but remain in sixth place due to their inferior head-to-head record with Churchill Brothers. Aizawl is now seventh with 23 points from 18 games.

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