Srinagar, Dec 25 (IANS) Real Kashmir FC will play their first home match of the 13th I-League season when they host defending champions Chennai City FC at the TRC Turf Ground on Thursday.
The I-League fixture is the first major sporting event in the valley since the erstwhile J-K state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.
Real Kashmir have played only two matches this season, both ending in draws away from home against East Bengal and Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU).
The Snow Leopards have let a one-goal advantage slip in the final thirteen minutes of both their matches, conceding an equaliser in the 77th and 78th-minute mark respectively. Although TRAU went 2-1 up against the Snow Leopards later, Mason Robertson scored a quick equaliser to snatch a point from Imphal.
Assessing his team’s last outing, David Robertson, Head Coach, Real Kashmir FC said, “In the second half, TRAU had a go at us and we defended well. We had a great chance when Krizo was one on one with the keeper and we could have killed the game. In football, these things happen. I am proud of my players and we could have scored more.”
Mason Robertson’s impressive shift in Imphal asserted the value he brings to the Kashmir squad. His two-goal show featured a clinical finish that went in off the inside of the woodwork for his first and a textbook header that levelled the scores for his second.
On being asked about his son’s performance, David Robertson added, “Mason is a valuable player. He’s very versatile. We are lucky to have him at Real Kashmir. As a father, I am delighted for him plus it makes it easier to pick your son if he is doing well.”
Chennai City FC, on the other hand, have made a slow start to their I-League campaign. They have notched only five points from four games, with their only victory arriving against TRAU in their season opener at Coimbatore.
With an away trip to Srinagar on the horizon, Roberto Eslava, Captain, Chennai City FC said, “We have shown intensity, so the points that we have dropped haven’t been for the lack of it.”
“We showed great fight against Punjab, though the scoreline may suggest otherwise. They scored a second (goal) in the dying minutes, so we had to go broke for an equaliser and they caught us off guard in stoppage time and added a third. We have shown this desire in every game, and the next game against Kashmir won’t be any different.”