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I League: RKFC play Aizawl FC today, aim second win at home

Srinagar: Real Kashmir FC Head Coach David Robertson along with team player Khalid qayoom shakes hand with Aizwal FC Head Coach Gift Raikhan and team player Alfred Kemah ahead of their I-League match ,in Srinagar on Tuesday, Dec 04,2018. Real Kashmir FC is the first team from Jammu and Kashmir who ever qualified for I-League within a span of two years. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Dec 4: Expectations are high on native Real Kashmir Football Club to register its second victory in the hometown as the team is set to face former I-League champions Aizawal FC on Wednesday.

Real Kashmir FC, popularly known as Snow Leopards, on November 25 registered its first win in the hometown after defeating Indian Arrows 2:0.

It was after three matches that the team scored a goal in hometown, which equally was applauded by the spectators who had turned up in thousands to watch the game.

The first victory in hometown equally charged its fans, who for minutes together cheered for the native team after the match.

On Tuesday, the excitement for the upcoming game was quite noticeable outside TRC ground, where the Real Kashmir fans had lined up to get the tickets.

As per the team officials, more than 3,000 tickets were sold by 12 pm.

Officials at the stadium expect a huge crowd compared to the previous matches, considering the team’s last performance against Indian Arrows.

“We saw that the number of spectators has been swelling up with each match. In the last two matches the crowd was more than the actual capacity of the stadium,” an official said.

Coaches of both the teams held a pre-match conference, both of them expecting a good show of football.

Real Kashmir FC Head Coach, David Robertson, said his team has, so far, difficult for its opponents to beat.

He said his team would continue its winning momentum in the upcoming matches as well.

“Aizawal FC is confident after defeating East Bengal. The team is good and very technical. They have a fantastic striker against whom we need to do well in this game,” he said.

Coach Robertson said his team has performed well in last games even as some matches gave them “not good results”.

“Lot of people say we don’t score goals. But we have conceded successfully many last goals. We got many chances in the games to score goals,” he said.

Real Kashmir FC Coach said the jam-packed stadium at every game was boosting the morale of his players.

“We are thankful to the spectators who support us throughout the game. We are looking forward for a good show,” he said.

Aizawal FC Head Coach, Gift Raikhan, said his team was also looking to continue its winning momentum.

“We are excited about tomorrow’s match with a positive approach after last win against East Bengal. It is my fourth visit to Kashmir and players too won’t be deterred by cold climate, as Aizawal also is a hilly region,” he said.

He said Real Kashmir FC, I-League debutants, possessed “highly-professional” players.

“We appreciate the Real Kashmir FC for making it to the I- League with their good performances. Its players are fantastic and highly professional and we will love to challenge them in tomorrow’s game,” he said.

About the TRC ground, where goals have not come easily, he said it was “too small and compact”.

“This might be the reason that Real Kashmir FC defenders are exceptional here,” he said.