SRINAGAR: Real Kashmir defeated Churchill Brothers 1-0 at the TRC Stadium to maintain their perfect record in the 2022–23 Hero I-League.
The hosts defeated Churchill Brothers for the first time in the I-League thanks to a second-half header from substitute Ibrahim Nurudeen.
The first significant opportunity of the game fell to the home team at the quarter-hour mark when midfielder Yakubu Wadudu's effort was deflected onto the post by goalkeeper Albino Gomes. Churchill Brothers maintained control throughout the whole game.
Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung of Real Kashmir took a strong effort from 30 yards away in the 18th minute, but Churchill goalkeeper Albino Gomes made a superb save, diving to his left to keep the ball out of his goal.
In the 34th minute, the 28-year-old was required to play again and made another daring stop, this time against a shot from Samuel Kynshi.
Tana curled in a corner for the visitors five minutes before the halftime siren, but Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in the Real Kashmir goal pushed it away.
After the next clearance, the Snow Leopards mounted a promising counterattack, with Jerry Pulamte's deft pass putting Kynshi in on goal. Albino Gomes demonstrated resoluteness on behalf of the Red Machines by making two early saves to prevent the hosts from scoring first.
Real Kashmir charged at the Churchill defence to open the second half. Two minutes after the break, Pulamte managed to get a shot off from the top of the penalty area, but goalkeeper Gomes easily stopped it.
Just outside the penalty area, Joseph Clemente fouled Kynshi around the hour mark. The ensuing free kick was taken by Nozim Babadzhanov, but it was blocked by the wall and went for a corner. After receiving a beautiful through ball from Wadudu, Pulamte sent Issahak Nuhu Seidu a cross, but the Ghanaian couldn't make a clean connection, and Churchill keeper Gomes scooped up the ball.
The Churchill defence was finally broken in the 76th minute when Ibrahim Nurudeen, a replacement, headed in Gomes' parry after the ball dropped for Bawitlung at the edge of the box after Gomes' parried the corner kick.
Later in the game, the visitors had numerous chances to get back into the match. Tana and Ciss both attempted free kicks from well outside the Real Kashmir penalty area, but their shots were wildly off-target. Churchill Brothers concluded the game with no shots on goal, simply because it wasn't their day.
With this result, the home team, which has 10 points after four games (three victories and a draw), has maintained its lead over the Goan team, which has just one point after four games.