representative image
representative image

Real Kashmir edge past Ozone in a five-goal thriller

ANI | Updated: May 25, 2018 00:56 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 25 (ANI): Real Kashmir FC beat Ozone FC Bengaluru 3-2 to begin their final round campaign in the 2017-18 Hero 2nd Division League at the FSV Arena here on Thursday.
With the win, Real Kashmir top the standings after the conclusion of round one, but they never had it that easy. They were made to sweat for victory by Ozone, who led twice, courtesy Robert De Souza (26') and Sabeeth Sathyan (67').
Kashmir kept their composure and scored through Nadong Bhuita (39'), Ritwik Kumar Das (89') and Yao Kouassi Bernard (90+5') to bag full three points.
Ozone began the match with good pace and high energy levels, aggressively pressing from the front.
Contrary to Ozone's approach, Real Kashmir preferred to remain compact and dropped back.
The Real Kashmir defenders were not allowed a lot of time on the ball and were therefore forced to hoof it up field, in the hoping that Bernard would be able to compete.
Nadong and Bernard were not quick enough to close down, and the Ozone centre-backs had time to pick their passes.
With Ozone gaining momentum, Robert found some space inside the Real Kashmir box, and when he was about to pull the trigger, goalkeeper Sukhwinder Singh fouled him.
This earned a penalty for Ozone, which the Brazilian converted to put his side ahead in the 26th minute.
It could have been 2-0 in the 33rd minute when Gunashekhar Vignesh collected a Real Kashmir clearance just over the half-way line before launching a menacing counter attack, which Real Kashmir were fortunate to escape from after Vignesh scuffed his effort over the post.
However, Real Kashmir, against the run of play, equalised when Nadong slotted from Ifham Tariq Mir's pass in the 39th minute to level matters before half-time.
Real Kashmir started the second-half much like they ended the first, as they enjoyed prolong periods inside the Ozone half, and Bernard won a free-kick in a promising area, which Ozone goalkeeper Abhishek Das sent wide in the 49th minute.
Nontheless, Ozone restored their lead through Sabeeth who slotted home following a goal-mouth scramble in the 67th minute.
Real Kashmir, however, did not lose hope and continued pressing for a equaliser in the final quarter of the game and found it through defender Ritwik Kumar Das in the 89th minute before Bernard slotted home the winner in stoppage time.
Real Kashmir will play TRAU FC next on May 27, before Ozone FC and Hindustan FC face off earlier on the same day. (ANI)