The hosts couldn’t find the goods to go past a rigid defense put up by the visitors
Real Kashmir headed to the top of the I-League table by holding East Bengal to a 1-1 draw at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday. After an own-goal from Lalramchullova gave the Snow Leopards a fortunate lead, East Bengal pegged them back and equalized through Jobby Justin’s sixth goal of the campaign.
However, they couldn’t beat Kashmir’s rigid defense after that, allowing the Snow Leopards to crawl their way to the top of the standings because of their superior goal difference.
Danish Farooq was the star local Kashmir boy coming into this big match, but he failed to provide any glamour to the game. The left winger was extremely ineffective and wasn’t able to create anything for his team, despite multiple attempts to do so. Farooq’s first touch was poor and most of his passes went astray to frustrate supporters all around.
After being such an influential figure for them last season, it seems Farooq’s transition to the I-League hasn’t been that smooth. He’s struggled to outwit opponents and can’t read opposition well, as proved in an inefficient performance against the Red and Gold Brigade.
Real Kashmir’s terrific record away from home continued, as they churned out another valuable point at a difficult ground like the Salt Lake Stadium. After winning two of their three away matches, Kashmir came into the game with an obsession to get a point and they did just that. While the Snow Leopards would’ve been disappointed not to preserve a lucky lead, Robertson would definitely be happy with a point. However, halfway through the season, it seems like Kashmir are actually thriving under the tag of underdogs.
In most of their away games, the general perception is for them to be narrowly ousted by their opposition. However, the Snow Leopards have found a way to grind out results and play the most frustrating football to do so. Much like the winners of the past two seasons, they are slowly surging towards the championship. Now that they’re at the top of the table, it’s high time the underdog’s tags is taken off them, but the wily Kashmir wouldn’t be disappointed if it wasn’t.