SRINAGAR: Real Kashmir FC on Thursday drew 1-1 against RoundGlass Punjab FC in a Hero I-League match, which saw both teams reduced to 10 men, at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium, Kalyani.
A 63rd minute altercation between Real Kashmir’s Afghan international Haroon Amiri and Punjab FC’s Bhutanese international Chencho Gyeltshen, resulted in the referee sending off both players.
The match was played on a slow-tempo with both teams cancelling each other out in the middle of the park. Both Real Kashmir and I-League table toppers RoundGlass Punjab, focused on defensive stability and not conceding a goal on a counter-attack.
Punjab FC came close to scoring in the 6th minute of the match when Joseba Beitia found Papa Diawara inside the box with a long ball but Diawara’s header was cleared off the line by a well-placed Mason Robertson.
Real Kashmir’s Goalkeeper Mithun Samanta made some important saves in the first-half of the match to keep RoundGlass strikers at bay.
The Srinagar-based Real Kashmir came close in the 31st minute with Pratesh Shirodkar's outside-of-the-boot effort from outside the box which was only inches wide of the goal-post.
The second-half began with both teams looking to take full points from the game.
In the 51st minute, Punjab FC had a great chance when a long throw-in found Mohammad Irshad whose flicked header found Papa Diawara inside the box. But the Senegalese forward failed to direct his header goal-wards from a close range and with no real pressure.
However, the match turned upside down with the two red cards as it opened up space on the pitch.
A 66th minute penalty kick was awarded to RoundGlass Punjab FC after RKFC’s Dharmraj Ravanan fouled inside the box. Joseba Beitia made no mistake from the spot-kick and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to hand RoundGlass Punjab FC a one-goal lead.
It didn’t take long for the Snow Leopards to respond as they found the back of the net in 72nd minute.
Captain Mason Robertson did well to find Dipanda Dicka in front of the goal and the Cameroonian forward made no mistake to tap in from close range.
The match ended 1-1 with Dipanda Dicka receiving the man-of-the-match award.
With this result, Real Kashmir stayed 2nd in the I-League table with 14 points from 8 games. While RoundGlass Punjab took the 1st spot with 15 points from 9 matches.
Real Kashmir will next play Aizwal FC on Tuesday, 23rd February. The game will kick-off at 2 PM (IST).
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