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I-League 2023-24: Real Kashmir FC stalls in goalless Draw, Gokulam Kerala rescues a point

Real Kashmir FC's goalless draw with Aizawl FC contrasts with Gokulam Kerala's spectacular strikes securing a point against Namdhari FC in I-League 2023-24 action.

I-League 2023-24: Real Kashmir FC stalls in goalless Draw, Gokulam Kerala rescues a point

Real Kashmir shares spoils with Aizawal FC


The Bridge Desk

Published: 2 Dec 2023 4:19 PM GMT

Real Kashmir FC experienced their first draw of the I-League 2023-24 season in a surprising goalless stalemate against Aizawl FC. Meanwhile, Gokulam Kerala showcased brilliance with two stunning strikes, securing a point against Namdhari FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium on December 2, 2023.

Real Kashmir shares spoils with Aizawal FC

Real Kashmir FC were held goalless by Aizawl FC in the I-League 2023-24 at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar on Saturday, December 2, 2023. It was only the second goalless fixture of the season so far, and the first draw for Real Kashmir. The Snow Leopards had netted eight goals in their last two matches, but were unable to find a way past a resilient Aizawl side, who picked up their first clean sheet of the season.

Although they had to settle for a point, the match highlighted Real Kashmir’s solid defensive form as they kept their fifth clean sheet in seven matches. With only four goals conceded so far, Ishfaq Ahmed’s side boast the joint-best defensive record in the league alongside Mohammedan Sporting.

Aizawl were led by their in-form young forward Lalrinzuala, who has netted six goals this season, including three in the last two matches, but was unable to repeat that on the cool afternoon in Srinagar. In the second half, Real Kashmir brought in attacking reinforcements in the form of Ateeb Dar and Mohamad Maksoud but to no avail.

With the draw, Real Kashmir remained in third spot with 13 points from seven matches. Aizawl moved up a place to sixth, with 11 points from seven games.

The Snow Leopards will next host current leaders Sreenidi Deccan FC on December 7, while the Reds travel to Kalyani to face TRAU FC on the same day.

Gokulam Kerala shares spoils with Namdhari FC

Two brilliant strikes in each half helped hosts Gokulam Kerala rescue a point against Namdhari FC in their I-League 2023-24 game at the EMS Corporation Stadium on December 2, 2023.

After the 2-2 draw, Gokulam Kerala FC have now have 11 points from six matches, while Namdhari collected their fourth point after half a dozen outings. Gokulam’s previous home match ended in a 1-1 draw with Churchill Brothers.

In the strangest of first halves, there seemed to be little in terms of on-ball action for the first half an hour as both teams turned rather physical, which hampered the tempo of the match. But then, PN Noufal scored an opener in the 35th minute with a delightful strike.

At the other end though Devansh Dabas could have no complaints at fingers being pointed his way for the equaliser. Manvir Singh did all the hard work, dribbling through a host of Gokulam defenders to bear down on goal, but in the end, a slight positioning error from Dabas, who didn’t cover his near post anywhere near well enough, meant the forward could stroke the ball in calmly to draw the visitors level.

Things got worse for Gokulam on the edge of half time, as Palwinder Singh headed in a second, from a delightful Imanol Sadaba cross from the right. The ball left the Gokulam defence flummoxed, and all Balwinder had to do was get his head to it from a mere three yards.

It was a tactic with an inbuilt risk and eventually that risk told. Komron Tursonov has scored many goals in Indian football but it’s doubtful he’s scored one like the scorcher that lit up the EMS. Picking up the ball 35 yards out, the diminutive striker let loose a shot straight into the top corner. Samdup had no chance.

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