Srinagar: Shrugging aside all the cold and the post August 5 scenario, Kashmir fans came out in big numbers on Thursday to support home side Real Kashmir FC as they started their home campaign in I-League on a winning note at Synthetic Turf TRC Ground here.
The match to which everyone was waiting for long, lived up to the excitement as both teams played exciting and quality football in front of jubilant Kashmir football fans. Real Kashmir FC continuing its dominance of defending champions Chennai City FC came out as winners by 2-1 goals as home side stretched its unbeaten record against Chennai side to four games.
Before the game started there was a lot of excitement in the atmosphere with fans in long queues waiting outside the stadium gate to get inside.
As it was first major football event held in Kashmir after August 5, the security presence was big and fans were allowed after proper check and verification. However, all the security hurdles didn’t deter fans from coming out in big numbers and support their home side and boost their morale.
Day before the game, Real Kashmir Coach David Robertson had said that his team is eagerly waiting to play in front of their home fans who make stadium noisy and boost their morale at each step. Listening to him fans in all age groups, both male and females showed their presence and cheered every touch that player’s made in the middle. Due to security, it was not a full house but the excitement and noise didn’t make it look like that.
As the game kicked off, Real Kashmir FC started on the attack getting two decent chances to get an early lead. However, Mason was unable to get hold of ball and convert a decent chance into goal. Real continued exerting pressure and created couple of more decent chances. As the game progressed Chennai City FC started have their footing in the middle. They started to control game in the middle and keep Real players on their toes. Meanwhile in one of the dangerous moves made, Real Kashmir local boy Danish Bhat opened the score and sent whole stadium into jubilation. Real continued to apply pressure and reaped the rewards when Baizee made it 2-0 for them just before the end of first half.
In second half, Chennai City came out with more aggression and applied pressure early on and they sent Real Kashmir FC back into their half to defend the goal. It was expected and Real Kashmir did made couple of decent saves while as Chennai did miss some close chances. In-between, Chennai on a charge did score one goal back to make it 2-1.
Seeing this Real Kashmir also made a change bringing in Ritwik Das in place of Subhash Singh. It gave Real Kashmir a much needed second half momentum as Das made couple of quality moves into the Chennai goal. Cullum who was kept silent for most part of the game by Chennai defenders kept making things difficult and he was continuously fouled by Chennai defenders.
Match ended with Real Kashmir notching up its win of the season. They now have five points out of three games played. They played two away draws and now have got one home win.