Real Kashmir FC bagged a 1-0 victory against recent I league champions Chennai City FC in the group C opener of the prestigious Durand Cup at the newly refurbished Kalyani Stadium. Danish Farooq scored the only goal of the match at the 90th minute with a long ranger from the edge of the 18yard box making the day all harsh for the struggling boys of Akbar Nawas. Here are the major talking points from the match.
Lack of momentum lead both teams miss early chances
Both teams started low as they failed to convert some early chances. Lack of training and fitness in the early preseason compelled to a game that lacked momentum and compactness all through the initial quarters until Real Kashmir defence stood strong against the sharp Chennai attacks. Chennai made some good moves along the left wing but they lacked in the final third to convert the chance to goal. The first two quarters came out with equal chances for both the teams but Kashmir seemed to have got better chances to keep the ball inside the goal as Danish Farooq missed a chance as soon as in the 5th minute of the game followed by a poor miss from Bazie Armand at the end of the second quarter as he failed to push the ball into the net standing inch apart of the goal line with the Chennai gaolie nowhere on the ball. The game started turning in favour of the snow leopards from the late quarter of the first half as Muhhammad Hammad , Katebe and Loveday turned compact and stood tall against all odds.
Danish Farooq the perfect number ten for Real Kashmir
Danish Farooq performed quite well in the offence as he continued to create problems for the Chennai defence all through the match. The number ten made some good move off the ball that lead Subhash Sing find a man for his crosses. The rising star from Kashmir took a good work load all through the match making himself the man of the match as he scored in the season opener of Real Kashmir. On the other hand Singam Subhash Singh played the perfect winger as he created quite a lot of chance from the flanks. The former Neroca FC player showed confident move with the ball that added pace and sharpness to the Kashmir attack as he compelled the Chennai defence to fumble.
Apt adaptive capability made the Snow leopards win over all odds
Chesterpaul Lyngdoh came as a substitute in the second half and this turned to be the best decision for the Kashmir gaffer David Robertson. The young midfielder from Meghalaya added tremendous pace to the Kashmir attack as soon as hit the pitch. Lyngdoh gradually took hold of the game as he started to make the entire offensive move on behalf of the snow leopards. Real Kashmir came to the pitch after just a single practise session but the way in which they transformed their composure and adapted themselves aptly to the situation surely comes up with a bright hope from the Snow leopards as players like Chestetrpaul, Subhash and Danish are yet to improve as they move forward through the preseason.
Kabir turns villain “for the team”
As nothing worked right for young Chennai City brigade it was Kabir T under the post that turned to be the only light of hope for them. The goalie from South kept the recent I league champs into the game till his last moment in the pitch as his safe pair of hands came out with terrific saves declining sure goals from Real Kashmir FC until the 76th minute when he grabbed a direct sent off for handling the ball out of the 18yard box. Thus it turned all dark for Chennai as they were reduced to ten men due to the sin from Kabir which according to Chennai gaffer Akbar Nawas is an intended mistake “for the team”
Chennai set to showcase local talents in the Durand Cup
Chennai gaffer made a good point in his first match as he gave chances to the local lads. It will surely help him to choose the right guys for the coming season. Akbar Nawas is treating the Durand Cup as an idle place to showcase the local talents of Chennai as he intends to sort out the batch that he scouted all through the off season. Chennai in spite of being a young and inexperienced team turned hard for the mighty Real Kashmir to overcome. While Real Kashmir is on a mission to set up and increase the composure and momentum among their final men, Chennai is on to look out for the best ones out of their youth bunch for the upcoming long season.