Srinagar, Jan 10: Emotions ran high as Real Kashmir FC bounced back with a 1:1 draw against Punjab FC at Srinagar’s TRC grounds on Friday.
For first 20 minutes, strikers from both the teams tried hard to score a goal. It was an evenly contested game right from the beginning with both the teams trying hard to get the ball.
It was Punjab FC forward Makan Winkle Chothe who netted the ball in the 21st minute taking advantage of confusion among the Real Kashmir defenders. The RKFC got a chance when Kellum Higginbotham passed ball to striker Gonhere Krizo but the later failed to net the ball. Later Krizo too failed to convert a pass by Kellam into a goal
For hosts, all their efforts failed to score an equalizer in the first half. Snow leopards started the second half in an attacking mode as they seemed desperate to pick up an early equalizer. They dominated proceedings and constantly kept the opposition on their toes.
Their persistence paid off when Gnohere Krizo found the back of the net at the hour mark. The Ivory Coast forward received the ball at the edge of the box from Danilo Augusto’s mistimed back head. Krizo entered the box and scored past Punjab FC Goal Keeper Kiran Limbu.
The goal by RKFC charged the spectators who shouted their lungs out to cheer the team. Real Kashmir continued to dominate the proceedings after scoring the equalizer as they looked hungry for a winning goal. Punjab, on the other hand, brought in Dipanda upfront in a bid to find their second goal.
Mason Robertson and Gnohere Krizo came close to score on couple of occasions in the final 10 minutes of the match but the Punjab defenders did well to stop them.
RKFC David Robertson made three changes in the Real Kashmir lineup. Altamash Sayed, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Gnohere Krizo replaced Farhan Ganie, Subhash Singh and Aaron Katebe.
Punjab FC coach Yan Law, on the other hand, made two changes in the Punjab FC lineup. Thoiba Singh and Girik Khosla replaced Munmun Lugun and Aser Dipanda.
Friday’s draw meant that Punjab remained at the third spot with 10 points. Real Kashmir FC is at the eight spot with six points in five matches.
RKFC coach David Robertson said he was satisfied with the performance of his team but claimed there were many “dubious decisions” by referees.
“Getting one point from Punjab FC was good. There were many dubious decisions which couldn’t have happened. They might have changed the game. There were couple of penalties when our players Mason and Krizo were encountered by Punjab FC. But we still played consistently and didn’t lose the game till the end,” he said.
On being asked about inclusion of Mason Robertson and Krizo who were unfit for the game, he said they had insisted to play today.
“The spirit of the team is very high. These two players came to me and asked to be included in the squad,” he added.
Punjab FC coach Yan Law, however, seemed to be unhappy with the results. “Unfortunately we had to share our points with RKFC. We missed many chances at the front. Thanks to our goal keeper who also saved us today,” he said.
Law said the spectators in Kashmir motivated their players to put up a good show in the game.