Debutants Real Kashmir FC snatched a stunning 2-1 win against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan to move to the third spot in the I-League points table here on Sunday.
Sony Norde’s screaming free-kick in the 42nd minute was the only goal that the hosts could manage in the game, who are now placed sixth on the Hero I-League points table. Mason Robertson was deservingly adjudged to be the Hero of the Match.
While Mohun Bagan made five changes in Sunday’s game, the most noticeable change was that of Sony Norde coming back into the starting list and Dipanda Dicka sitting on the bench. For Real Kashmir, Mason Robertson found his way into the starting list as an injury-ridden Krizo had to sit out.
Real Kashmir FC, who have not lost an away game so far, as expected, started with their attacking football. Mohun Bagan, however, made attempts on the counter but the Real Kashmir defence line ensured that the hosts did not find enough opportunities to create trouble for them.
Real Kashmir, however, did not stop trying and were soon rewarded in the 33rd minute when an outstanding cross from Surchandra Singh to Mason Robertson inside the box saw the latter make no errors in heading the ball into the goal, drawing first blood for the Snow Leopards.
Mohun Bagan who were left rattled with this goal, sprung back to action making constant attempts to score, but the Real Kashmir defenders ensured that the hosts do not find enough space to manage an equaliser.
Real Kashmir’s physical game cost them dearly when a silly foul by Abhash Thapa on Yuta Kinowaki just outside their box not only earned a free kick for Mohun Bagan but also led to a yellow card for the snow leopards.
Sony Norde, who took the free-kick thereafter, made no mistakes in showcasing his class as he ensured his shot thudded off the crossbar and darted into the Real Kashmir goal in the 42nd minute.
The heavily entertaining first half came to an end with the score reading 1-1 for both Mohun Bagan and Real Kashmir FC.
The second half began with hosts Mohun Bagan pressing hard for a lead but they were left wanting against an organised Real Kashmir defence line.
Mohun Bagan, who looked desperate for a lead looked quite threatening breaching into the Real Kashmir box at regular intervals, but the lack of a good finish inside the box cost them heavily.
On the other hand, Real Kashmir, like before, kept plugging away at chances on the counter and their efforts were again rewarded in the 74th minute when Mason Roberston struck his second goal of the day to hand the visitors the lead once again.
The game changed gears from there. While on one hand, Mohun Bagan made numerous attempts to find the equaliser again, Real Kashmir ensured that most of their players were positioned deep enough to defend and keep every threatening moment away, on the other.
Mohun Bagan came really close to scoring a couple of times in the final few minutes of the game but some great defending from Real Kashmir along with some misdirected shots from Mohun Bagan cost the hosts the game.