Kalyani, April 28: Sudeva Delhi got their third victory in four games after defeating Real Kashmir, here at the Kalyani Stadium. Real Kashmir were missing several players, including captain Mason Robertson, and were unable to hold off Sudeva as the latter secured all three points.
In the opening stages of the game, Real Kashmir spent most of the time in the Sudeva Delhi half. Malemngamba Meitei saw the ball a lot on the right flank as he tried to select Bernard Kouassi with a cross, but could not find the striker after several attempts.
A rare Sudeva attack saw them earn a penalty at the other end. Young Shubho Paul was brought down in the box by Rishik Shetty. Paul stepped up to take the penalty and managed to send Bilal Khan the wrong way to give Sudeva an advantage out of nowhere.
Another penalty was awarded, this time to Real Kashmir after Meitei had put the ball in from a free kick towards Kouassi. A chaotic defense in the area saw the ball come out of Sairuatkima’s arm. Kouassi stepped up to shoot from the spot and managed to beat Sachin Jha, who had dived in the right direction, to level it all.
Minutes after the equalizer, Kouassi received a quick run down the right from Zahid Yousif. The Ivorian used his physicality to beat Sairuatkima in the box and ended up hitting the crossbar from a sharp angle.
Sudeva started the second half on the front foot. Abhijit Sarkar fired a beautiful low shot towards goal, but Khan saved it well and converted it into a corner. Real Kashmir was clearly missing some of their players who were not available for this game as they were unable to retain possession for long.
The frustration didn’t last long for Sudeva when captain Vanlalzuidika Chhakchhuak appeared with his second goal of the night. William Pauliankhum sent a cross into the box from the right. Nishchal Chandan hit him with his head and hit him right into the path of Chhakchhuak, who dodged a Shetty tackle and scored easily from close range.
In the last ten minutes of the game, Bikramjit Singh sent a ball into the area and Pratesh Shirodkar’s header went wide. At the other end, Neihsial almost slipped past the Real Kashmir defence, but was stopped by Abhash Thapa before he could do any more damage.
The victory propels Sudeva straight to second place in the relegation table, just two points behind leaders Aizawl FC and two behind TRAU in third place. After this loss, Real Kashmir extended their winless streak to nine games. They are now fifth in the table, four points above Kenkre.
Result: Real Kashmir 1 (Bernard Kouassi 17′ pen) lost to Sudeva Delhi 2 (Shubho Paul 12′ pen, Vanlalzuidika Chhakchhuak 79′)