Kozhikode, Dec 14 (IANS) Top division debutants Real Kashmir FC will aim to continue their superb form when they take on Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League game at the EMS Corporation Stadium here on Saturday.
Real Kashmir have had a wonderful I-League campaign till now. They find themselves in third place on the charts with 13 points from seven games, with four wins to their credit.
Gokulam have collected nine from the same number of games but have had some wonderful days, displaying potential and some precocious talent.
What has differentiated the two teams till now has been Kashmir’s compact and near impregnable defence, led by experienced Nigerian Loveday Okechukwu and Scotsman Mason Robertson.
There can be no bigger proof of this than the fact that while Gokulam have let in 10 goals till now, Kashmir have only conceded a miserly four, making it the league’s best defence.
Their Scottish coach David Robertson has acquired Abednedo Kofi Tetteh lately which has further bolstered their attack, the Ghanaian striker accounting for two goals in his first full game last week.
“We didn’t have much time before this match for preparation as we had to travel from Srinagar after the Lajong match. We are looking forward to the first match away after a long home-leg. It’s only our second away fixture, so definitely, that’s going to be a tough one,” Robertson said.
Gokulam, on the other hand, have had some recent reverses and the sudden loss of a key player must have also contributed.
However, coach Bino George is an experienced hand in Indian football and will look to sufficiently enthuse his side, given a golden chance of notching up a victory at home.
His comments on match day eve exposed the importance of the game for Gokulam.
“For us, it is a do-or-die battle. We have to win it. It is a challenge. I have already told about this to my players,” he said.
“We have tried a new player on loan but we have not decided whether he will play or not.”