Srinagar, Jan 4 (IANS) A much energised Real Kashmir FC (RKFC) would be looking for their second successive victory in the ongoing I-League season when they host Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in Srinagar on Sunday. RKFC had registered their first victory of the season, defeating defending champions Chennai City 2-1 at the TRC Turf Ground here on December 26.

Mohun Bagan are third in the standings with seven points from four matches, approaching the match on the back of two consecutive wins. Real Kashmir are seventh with five points from three games.

Local hero Danish Farooq kicked-off their quest for a win against Chennai with the team’s first goal. He said the hosts are hoping to improve in order to win against Mohun Bagun.

“Mohun Bagun is one of the toughest teams of I-League however, we are totally energised following our last win and along with some better performances would be able to continue our winning streak,” Farooq said on the eve of the clash.

RKFC co-founder Sandeep Chattoo was also bullish about his team’s chances against the former champions and said: “The team is doing really good. Our win against defending Champions Chennai City has given us a lot of confidence. However we should strive to improve players’ overall performance to beat our formidable opponents.”.

Mohun Bagan had defeated Real Kashmir 2-1 in the Durand Cup semi-finals earlier in the season.

The ‘Snow Leopards’ have trained hard for the match at the TRC Ground, the venue of the match. Keeping in mind the cold conditions, Mohun Bagan reached Srinagar on Thursday, a day earlier than the original schedule.

Sunday’s match would be played in extremely cold conditions and on an artificial turf. The minimum temperature here for the remaining days of the week is projected to dip below the zero degree celsius mark while the maximum temperature will not rise beyond four.

Mohun Bagan players are unaccustomed to play in such conditions, which is seen to be advantageous for the home team.

RKFC will look towards their foreigners — Mason Robertson, Bazzie Armand, Gnohere Krizo and Kallum Higginbotham — while Mohun Bagan will be hoping that their latest signing, striker Papa Babacar Diawara, will make an instant impact on his debut.

The narrative of Real Kashmir FC continues to bring positivity in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370. Kashmiris are expected to throng the ground in large numbers in what would only be the second time that any sporting activity is taking place in the city since August.

–IANS

kk/bg

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