Real Kashmir FC look for an encore to delight home fans

NEW DELHI: Real Kashmir will look to build on their opening day brilliance and capitalise on favourable home conditions against TRAU FC in the second round of fixtures on November 4, 2023, at the TRC Stadium in Srinagar.

Real Kashmir took a well-deserved three points in their I-League 2023-24 opener against Rajasthan United, goals by Wayne Vaz and Shaher Shaheen enough to spark jubilation among the home fans. More than the win though, head coach Ishfaq Ahmed expressed satisfaction at the team’s ability to play together, despite the limited time they have spent pre-season.

“I’m happy with the fact that we took our chances well in the game against RUFC,” he said, “and I’m also very pleased that despite the relatively short pre-season, the team had a cohesive structure and looked like a unit. It has to become a trend going forward.”

TRAU, for their part, are no pushovers and a new-look team this season will be keen to make a mark early on. The team has already logged a vital point on their travels, pushing Delhi FC in the opener to a 1-1 draw.

TRAU coach L Nandakumar Singh is among the most experienced hands in the I-League and recognises the odds his small club often have to go up against to get results. “The core of the team is young players from Manipur and we have always been this way,” he said. “It helps us bond together and also gives the boys an opportunity to show their talent and work together to get results. This season is no different.”

Real Kashmir did the double over TRAU last season, winning both encounters by an aggregate of 5-2. Contrary to expectations though, it was their game in Srinagar that was the closer encounter, RKFC twice coming back from a goal down to eventually take the win.

Ahmed expects no difference in the latest iteration of what may well prove to be a high-scoring encounter. “They had a great start against Delhi and have already experienced playing away from home,” he said. “We have had a great start ourselves, and even kept a clean sheet so we go on a high. We cannot rest on that though, we have to be careful and have to fight hard for a good result.”

The match will be broadcast live on Eurosport channel and streamed live on Indian Football YouTube Channel and Fancode.

Also Read: Sreenidi make Inter Kashi crawl on Deccan plateau

Also Read: Odisha FC display impressive defensive effort to secure 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC

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