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Talking Points: Do Real Kashmir need to do better in front of goal?

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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The defeat keeps Alison Kharsyntiew’s boys at the bottom of the table with four points.

Real Kashmir got back to winning ways as they did the double over Shillong Lajong, defeating them 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong on Saturday. A second-half goal from Aaron Katebe sealed the deal for the Snow Leopards, who move back into second place, having dealt Alison Kharsyntiew’s side their seventh successive defeat in the I-League. Here are our talking points for the game:

5. Physical inferiority has been Shillong Lajong’s Achilles Heel this season.

The lack of physical prowess has haunted Alison Kharsyntiew’s boys

It was definitely a brave decision from Shillong Lajong to field an All-Indian, young squad like Indian Arrows this season, but over the months, its having a dreaded outcome. The Reds have been pit at the bottom of the I-league for a good chunk of the season and are finding it nearly impossible to win a game. the lack of physical prowess has haunted Alison Kharsyntiew’s boys.

And that’s probably their biggest mistake- Relying on too many “boys.” Their physical inferiority was on show against Real Kashmir again, as the intimidating Snow Leopards roughed them up with strong challenges and bullied them around. Their inferiority in the air allowed Loveday Enyinnaya to easily win the corner and enabled Katebe to score, proving how frail Lajong are in set-pieces.

4. Is Surchandra Singh among the best crossers in the league?

Real Kashmir have ridden on Surchandra Singh’s brilliance throughout the season and the winger turned up yet again in the game against Lajong. The right winger looked dangerous whenever he got free space ahead of him, allowing him to send in some venomous crosses which The Reds’ players had problems clearing.

Singh sent in a number of perfect crosses into the box throughout and proved just how good he is at it. It was his brilliant set-piece delivery which allowed him to dink one for Loveday to setup Katebe. With The Snow Leopards relying on their aerial prowess in attack, Surchandra’s consistency in flinging in inviting balls has benefited them massively and was a deciding factor in the win at Shillong.

3. Did Purba Lachenpa save Shillong from embarrassment?

Playing ahead of Neithovilie Chalieu, Purba Lachenpa knew he had a big task ahead of him against the powerful strikeforce of Real Kashmir. The Snow Leopards caused him a lot of difficulties throughout, but the young keeper did admirably in thwarting their chances again and again. Lachenpa was extremely alert in tracking Kashmir’s movement and made a few excellent stops in the game.


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He kept their long shots out by parrying them away decisively and made an amazing save in the second half, by diving brilliantly to keep Mason Robertson’s shot out. Lachenpa showed impressive aggression and tenacity to punch out the crosses as well. He might not have been able to keep a clean-sheet, but he won the Hero of the Match award for saving his side from another romping.

2. Us Mason Robertson’s transformation his father’s masterstroke?

While Robertson’s persistence upfront is admirable, experimenting with him in that position is all down to his father

What initially seemed like a one-time experiment is now a full-time tactical ploy for Real Kashmir, who keep on playing Mason Robertson upfront. After impressing against Mohun Bagan, which included a fantastic brace, the son of coach David Robertson’s reverted from a center-back to a striker. Mason had another impressive game against Lajong, bullying the defenders with his physicality and impressive acceleration.

He had a few swipes at goal, but was unlucky not to add to his tally. While Robertson’s persistence upfront is admirable, experimenting with him there is all down to his father.

1. Do Real Kashmir need to do better in front of goal?

Real Kashmir seemed to have slacked off against Shillong Lajong, who they realized were low on confidence and unable to cause an upset at this stage. The Snow Leopards couldn’t create a proper chance in the first half and a half-time pep-talk from Dave Roberston forced them to wake up in the second. However, Kashmir came flying through with persistent chances to score in the second period.

While their goal itself was a scrappy finish, they had many chances to get an unassailable lead. Mason Robertson and Nagen Tamang both missed sitters and on other occasions, the Snow Leopards were denied by Tachenpa’s brilliance. However, their finishing needs to improve if Real Kashmir are to continue to get positive results against stronger opposition like their next one, league leaders Chennai City.

Published: Sun Jan 20, 2019 04:08 PM IST

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