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I-League 2023-24: Real Kashmir FC and Inter Kashi serve up thrills on opening day fixtures

The 2023-24 I-League season kicked off in spectacular fashion with Real Kashmir's 2-0 triumph over Rajasthan United and a thrilling 2-2 draw between Gokulam Kerala and debutants Inter Kashi.

I-League 2023-24: Real Kashmir FC and Inter Kashi serve up thrills on opening day fixtures

I-league season 2023-24


Aswathy Santhosh

Published: 29 Oct 2023 5:38 AM GMT

The 2023-24 I-League season roared to life with a sensational opening day, featuring two exciting matches that left fans on the edge of their seats.

Real Kashmir beat Rajasthan United FC

Real Kashmir FC secured a convincing 2-0 victory over Rajasthan United FC at the TRC Football Turf in Srinagar on Saturday, October 28, 2023. The home team didn't disappoint their passionate fans, with Wayne Vaz and Shaher Shaheen emerging as the heroes of the match.

The first notable chance of the match came in the 16th minute when Dario Da'silva Junior exploited a gap in the Real Kashmir defense. He dribbled past defenders Hyder Yousuf and Ahteeb Ahmad Dar but couldn't muster the necessary power on his shot, allowing Real Kashmir's goalkeeper Muheet Shabir to make a comfortable save.

Real Kashmir responded with a promising opportunity of their own in the 22nd minute. Gnohere Krizo delivered a perfectly timed through pass to Ahteeb Ahmad Dar, who managed to beat the offside trap but missed the target with his shot, leaving the game goalless at halftime.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 49th minute. Lalramdinsanga Ralte delivered a superb free-kick from the right, which Kiran Pandhare nodded expertly to Wayne Vaz at the far post. Vaz seized the opportunity, slotting the ball into the net with his left foot, leaving Rajasthan United goalkeeper Jha and Suraj Jeet Singh Negi as mere spectators.

As the clock ticked down, Real Kashmir kept the pressure on, and their efforts paid off in the injury time (90+6'). Shaher Shaheen found the back of the net, sealing the deal for Real Kashmir with a 2-0 victory. The home fans left the stadium with smiles on their faces as their team made a strong statement in the opening match of the I-League season.

Gokulam Kerala shares spoils with Inter Kashi

Gokulam Kerala and debutants Inter Kashi played out an exciting 2-2 draw at the EMS Corporation Stadium on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

The match began with Gokulam Kerala taking control, eager to assert their dominance over the newcomers. The early pressure paid off as Alejandro Lopez opened the scoring in the 8th minute, tapping in from close range after a precise setup by Sreekuttan VS.

However, Kashi slowly regained composure and started circulating the ball in defense and midfield to disrupt Gokulam's momentum. Their patience was rewarded when Lalrindika capitalized on a defensive lapse and equalized with a well-timed goal, making it 1-1.

A moment of magic, or perhaps insanity, provided Gokulam with their second goal. Noufal brilliantly lobbed the ball into the net after Arindam Bhattacharya, the Kashi goalkeeper, misjudged his actions while trying to defend the long hopeful ball from the left.

Despite Kashi's spirited display, it appeared they might leave empty-handed. However, the drama wasn't over. In the injury time (90+2'), a goalkeeping error by Devansh Dabas allowed Mohamed Asif to secure an equalizer for Inter Kashi. Asif tucked the ball into the net, earning the debutants a valuable point in their first away game.

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