Srinagar- The goalkeepers stole the show with some superb display as Real Kashmir FC and Gokulam Kerala FC played out a goalless draw in their I-League match here on Tuesday.
Both the teams had their chances but the goalkeepers produced some excellent saves to ensure that neither team found the back of the net.
Both teams came into the encounter on the back of two wins each and zero goals conceded as well. With this result, they maintain their respective unbeaten starts and also make it three clean sheets in a row.
The first half began with both teams going for the attack right from the get-go. Gokulam’s Arjun Jayaraj charged into the penalty area with the ball in the sixth minute but was closed down before he could shoot. A couple of minutes later, Real Kashmir had their first shy at goal through Nozim Babadzhanov, whose shot from distance was narrowly off target.
The league’s double defending champions started to have the better of the exchanges and were able to counter the aerial threat posed by the hosts. In the 14th minute, Sreekuttan VS had his shot saved sharply by Subhasish Row Chowdhury in goal. Seven minutes later, Jayaraj put Auguste Somlaga through on goal with a defence-splitting pass but the forward was adjudged to be narrowly offside.
As the half drew to a close, the Snow Leopards had a chance when defender Jerry Pulamte fired in a shot through his marker’s legs but it was no trouble for Shibinraj in goal. In the same attack, Babadzhanov tried his luck with a powerful effort from long range once more, but his effort was wide of the mark.
The best chance of the half came in the 44th minute through Real Kashmir’s Nuhu Seidu but the Ghanaian’s free-kick from distance rattled the post, and the Gokulam defence was quick to clear in time. At the end of the first half, the scoreline remained goalless.
After the breather, the visitors had an opportunity in the 50th minute but Farshad Noor’s shot from outside the penalty area could not beat the defensive wall.
In the 63rd minute, Wadudu Yakubu evaded a trio of Gokulam defenders and danced his way into a dangerous position, before laying the ball off to Samuel Kynshi inside the box. However, the forward’s shot with the outside of his boot was wide of the far post.
Sreekuttan had a couple of chances as the match approached the final whistle but veteran goalkeeper Subhasish made comfortable saves.
Gokulam keeper Shibinraj too had to be alert to tip over a looping header from a long throw-in by Lamine Moro in the 80th minute. From the resulting corner kick, Jestin George rose highest and fired in a powerful header that was saved in spectacular fashion by Shibinraj once again.
The Snow Leopards were inches away from taking the lead in the 85th minute but Samuel’s shot from 25 yards thundered against the crossbar as the score remained at 0-0.
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