I-League | Churchill Brothers win despite late Real Kashmir surge

Srinagar, Nov 8: Churchill Brothers took advantage of defensive errors to secure an impressive 3-1 victory over Real Kashmir FC in a round three I-League encounter at the TRC Polo Synthetic Turf Ground in Srinagar, on Wednesday.

This win marked Churchill Brothers’ first triumph of the I-League season, while Real Kashmir suffered their first defeat.

Ricardo Nicolas Dichiara was the star for Churchill Brothers, netting a pair of goals in the second half, while Carlos Alberto Silva Lomba scored an own goal. Ahteeb Ahmad Dar managed to narrow the deficit for Real Kashmir. Both teams found themselves down to 10 players following the dismissals of Gnohere Krizo and Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.

The match was Real Kashmir’s home game but Churchill Brothers appeared more in their elements. The contest evolved into a gritty battle of attrition, with both teams opting for a physical brand of football. Nevertheless, it became evident right from the beginning that

Real Kashmir’s defence was in disarray, and this vulnerability played a pivotal role in each of the Churchill Brothers’ goal-scoring opportunities. The pressure made the home team panic in crucial situations, ultimately contributing to their defensive lapses and the subsequent goals conceded.

In the 25th minute, Churchill Brothers capitalised on an unexpected opportunity, scoring their first goal with an innocuous long throw-in from the right flank. Real Kashmir goalkeeper, Muheet Shabir, took a risky gamble by leaving his goal unguarded and venturing out to collect the throw.

Unfortunately for Shabir, his attempt failed as the ball was cleverly flicked into the path of Churchill Brothers’ Emiliano Callegari Torre. Torre seized the moment and fired a shot towards the goal. Fate took an unexpected turn as the shot seemed destined to go wide, but in an unfortunate twist, Real Kashmir’s Carlos Alberto Silva Lomba redirected the ball into his own net, leaving Shabir and his teammates stunned.

The second half saw Churchill Brothers display a relentless hunger for goals, and in the 60th minute, they capitalised on yet another defensive lapse by Real Kashmir. A long ball was played into the Real Kashmir box, a situation that should have been easily dealt with by Lomba.

However, a poor clearance attempt left the door wide open for Churchill Brothers. Dichiara, with sharp instincts, pounced on the opportunity, volleying the ball into the net with precision.

Just a minute after their previous goal, Churchill Brothers firmly secured the match in their favour, capitalising on another crucial lapse from Real Kashmir. This time, it was Ricardo Nicolas Dichiara who demonstrated his predatory instincts with clinical precision.

Real Kashmir managed to pull a goal back in the 70th minute when Mohamad Maksoud executed an inch-perfect free-kick from the left flank. His delivery found substitute Ahteeb Ahmad Dar, who skilfully redirected the ball into the net. This well-executed set-piece play injected hope into Real Kashmir but they faced a setback in the 71st minute when Gnohere Krizo was sent off, reducing the home team to 10 players. Churchill Brothers’ defence stood resolute and unyielding for the remainder of the match, thwarting Real Kashmir’s efforts and preserving their lead to secure the victory.

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