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Undefeated Real Kashmir FC eye top spots with win over NEROCA

Real Kashmir FC players celebrate a goal in the Hero I-League. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
Real Kashmir FC players celebrate a goal in the Hero I-League. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

Real Kashmir FC aim for crucial points when they face tenth-placed NEROCA FC at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal tomorrow (February 13th, 2021), aspiring to go higher up in the table. The kick-off is slated for 7 PM IST and the match will be broadcasted live on the 1Sports channel and streamed live on the 1Sports Facebook page.

Undefeated in the Hero I-League so far, Real Kashmir FC were held to a draw by league leaders Churchill Brothers in their last match. With NEROCA next, the Snow Leopards would be aiming for nothing short of a win to go level on points with the Red Machine. With just four matches remaining in their campaign, Real Kashmir would also aspire to grab maximum points out of the remaining matches.

Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, coach David Robertson said, “We had the best chances of the game in the last game (against Churchill Brothers). With a bit of luck, we could have won the game, but it’s always good to see that we keep picking points up. It was a hard-fought game, and our confidence is growing with each game we play ”

“Our objective is to pick up all the three points from the game against NEROCA FC. We want to come in the top six in the first stage, and hopefully build on this run during the later stages of the league.”

“NEROCA are a tough opponent regardless of our record against them. We have watched them pushed late in the second half of the last game, and this can cause teams a lot of problems. We have to focus on our philosophy and the way we play. If we perform the way we did in the last game, then we have a good chance to get the three points,” the Scottish coach added.

Defender Dharmaraj Ravanan said, “We played a great game against Churchill Brothers! We defended well as a team and also created chances on the other end. Like the boss said, our goal is to finish in the top six, and every game is a step forward in achieving that goal.”

Meanwhile, NEROCA FC finds themself just over the bottom of the I-League after their 1-2 defeat to Chennai City FC. However, with a tight mid-table, the Orange Brigade still have a slimmer of hope to move into the top six with three games remaining. Gift Raikhan and his boys will aim nothing short of a victory in this do-or-die clash for them.

Speaking at the virtual press conference, NEROCA head coach Gift Raikhan said, “We finished the last game on a high despite being a man down. If we’d shown the same intent and tempo from the first whistle, it would have been a much different result. However, it is a different game tomorrow. We made mistakes in the last game. All we can do now is study them and make sure we don’t repeat them. One thing is for sure- we will fight for all three points!”

“The beautiful thing about this season is that the table is very tight, giving all teams a chance. The gap between us and mid-table teams is merely three to four points. We are taking it one game at a time. Once we start winning, we would be sitting in the upper half of the table in no time.”

“Real Kashmir are a complete team- a real championship contender. They have solid defenders, and quality attacking talent who can cause trouble for the best defensive units. It is going to be a good but hard game against them. We are ready for them,” he added.

Defender Kallon Varney, who was also present at the presser, said, “We have been working on making ourselves better game by game. Real Kashmir have put a talented attacking lineup. We have been conceding first, and that puts pressure on our attack. We will do our best to avoid conceding tomorrow, and give ourselves the best fighting chance against the opponents.”

(AIFF Media)