Real Kashmir seek first win of Phase II against in-form Gokulam Kerala FC

Defeats in their last two matches have potentially thrown Real Kashmir FC out of the title challenge fray but the Snow Leopards have a chance to rekindle their hopes when the Kashmir-based side clashes swords against high-flying Gokulam Kerala FC, who inflicted the first defeat of Churchill Brothers in their last match.

The match will kick-off at 2:00 PM IST at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), West Bengal, tomorrow (March 15, 2021) and will be broadcasted on the 1Sports channel, whilst being streamed live on their Facebook page.

Real Kashmir were unbeaten in the first nine games of the season but as things stand they can be out of the title race if they lose points in their remaining matches. Their dip in form has come at the wrong time in the season where even a single win changes the composition of the league table. The Snow Leopards now find themselves in the sixth spot with 17 points from 12 games and they need nothing short of three points against Gokulam in order to revive their season.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, goalkeeping coach Jonathan Craig said, “Obviously, our last game was disappointing and the performance of the team wasn’t what we expected. We will be surely rectifying that come Monday.”

“In the last few games, we have created a lot of chances. The Mohammedan game was just one of those matches that happens when things don’t go your way. In the Churchill game, we were good with the ball but didn’t take our chances. If we had a bit more luck, we might have won the game. The TRAU game was disappointing, we didn’t take our chances in the first half. A bit more composure in front of goal could have helped us be at the top of the table.”

“Against Churchill and against TRAU, we were getting the ball from the back into the midfield and then out wide. We were also playing the ball over the top of the full-backs and creating a lot of chances. We just need to be a bit more consistent and confident in front of goal,” the goalkeeping coach added.

Defender Ravanan who was also present in the press conference said, “We have lost three matches in a row but if you look at the three matches you will see that we have created more chances than the opponent and hopefully, in the next match we will convert the chances into goals. The mood in the camp is good. Everyone is focused and working hard in training. Hopefully, we will win maximum points from the next three matches.”

The last time when these two sides met, the game ended in a goalless draw, but none of the two contingents will be happy with a similar result this time around. Gokulam Kerala FC are coming into the match on the back of a 3-0 win whereas Real Kashmir are coming on the back of a 3-1 loss to TRAU.

Gokulam defeated Churchill Brothers in their previous match, a team that had not lost a game in this season. Coach Vincenzo Annese‘s team has opened up the title race and would love another three points to keep their winning momentum going.

Speaking at the official press conference, head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese said, “Win against Churchill, Indian Arrows, and NEROCA all are the same for me. I don’t see that kind of a difference in the Hero I-League. I know that we have just taken points off the league leaders but I am focused on the Real Kashmir match. I don’t care much about what we did to Churchill, I care about what we do to Real Kashmir.”

“I know that in the last three games Real Kashmir have changed their style of play and are playing more direct. They have good quality foreign players and a good team. They are still one of the teams in the title race and are mathematically in it. Maybe they will change their approach against us. We need to focus on our approach and our three points.”

“For me, three points is three points irrespective of the opponent,” he added when asked about how satisfying was the result against Churchill for him as a coach.

Skipper Mohammed Awal said, “Playing matches after matches and training days after days has helped us learn a lot and we have improved a lot. Our defence has improved a lot. I always play football with an aim to not concede goals and hopefully, we can keep our run going tomorrow.”


CREDITS: I-League Media

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: MFA Women’s League: Bodyline, Footie First, India rush clinch convincing wins on opening day

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