I-League: Lukman hat-trick powers Real Kashmir beat NEROCA 4-3

In the highest goal-scoring game of the I-League so far, Real Kashmir FC rode Lukman Adefemi’s hat-trick to defeat North Eastern Re-Organising Cultural Association (NEROCA) Football Club 4-3 at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium here on Saturday.

In the topsy-turvy match, NEROCA equalised after falling behind by two goals, only for Adefemi’s stunner in the second half to steal the show and hand three points to the Snow Leopards.

Real Kashmir had taken what seemed to be an unassailable lead, courtesy of two goals by Adefemi in the first half, coupled with a Mason Robertson strike. But NEROCA fought back through Varney Kallon, Khaiminthang Lhungdim, and substitute Songpu Singsit to equalise the deficit.

For Gift Raikhan’s men, Adefemi’s stunner in the second half proved to be the difference between the two sides as Real Kashmir go second in the I-League with 13 points — one point behind league leaders RoundGlass Punjab FC, who have also played one game more.

There are hardly five goals seen in a match, let alone in one half of a game. When Real Kashmir FC clashed against NEROCA, the storyline was different altogether with both teams playing a high tempo game from the opening minute. Five goals in a half is a staggering number, but with both contingents out to prove a point, goals came in plenty.