Real Kashmir Football Club (FC) on Saturday beat Shillong Lajong FC 1-0 in the ongoing I-League in the match played in Shillong.
Zambian centre-back Aaron Katebe scored the all-important goal in the 74th minute, propelling the ‘Snow Leopards’ to second place on the league table with 25 points — five adrift of leaders Chennai City FC — from 13 games.
Honours were even in the first half though Lajong dominated possession as also having the best look at the opposition goal. Samuel Lyngdoh’s volley as early as in the fifth minute sailed over the bar.
The young home side were, however, not able to convert any of their chances and were made to pay for their discretion in the second half.
Robertson effected a double substitution in the second half, bringing in Gnohere Krizo and Danish Farooq for Koffi Tetteh and Qayoom and Real Kashmir took the lead from a set-piece.
Surchandra Singh floated the ball across the goal away from the far post from a corner to which Loveday Okechukwu rose the tallest to direct a header back towards the centre of the goal.
Zambian Katebe, Loveday’s partner at centre-back, was lurking around and he buried the ball into the Lajong net with a strong header.
Mason, son of coach David Robertson, missed another couple of clear chances and in the end, Kashmir had to be satisfied with the 1-0 scoreline.
For Lajong, the only consolation was that the Hero of the Match award was given to their keeper Phurba Lachempa for his vital saves, without which the victory margin could have been much bigger.
Real Kashmir FC despite being a debutant team has displayed a stunning performance in the ongoing tournament.
The stadium was jam-packed as usual. They supported both the teams. But some of the watchers said the Real Kashmir played well.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated the debutants over their win against Shillong Lajong FC.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Omar wrote: “Well done Snow Leopards! What an amazing debut season you are having. Really proud of how well you guys are playing @realkashmirfc.”
Well done Snow Leopards! What an amazing debut season you are having. Really proud of how well you guys are playing @realkashmirfc
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 19, 2019