I-League debutants Real Kashmir completed the double over Chennai City FC after beating the table-toppers 1-0 in Srinagar on Monday.

An 81st-minute goal by Gnohere Krizo did the trick for David Robertson’s men, who played a distinct Scottish-style football in the freezing Srinagar weather against the Chennai outfit.

The win takes the Snow Leopards level on points with second-placed Churchill Brothers (28). However, the northernmost team of the 12th Hero I-League remains third on points table as their match against the Red Machines ended in a stalemate earlier this season, and the Goan side has a superior goal difference.

The result has also thrown the title-race wide open, as there is just a five-point difference between the top (Chennai) and the fourth-placed team (Quess East Bengal), with the latter having played one match less.

The game began at a good pace with both teams looking for an early goal. While Chennai City FC played their brand of swift passing football with a Spanish flavour to it, Real Kashmir were more reliant on aerial counter-attacks and depending on the hold-up play of Mason Robertson and Krizo.

The first real chance of the match came in the 35th minute when Krizo broke free from the Chennai defence and had just goalkeeper Santana Garcia to beat. However, the latter produced a fine save off the Ivorian’s volley to keep the scores level.

It was all Real Kashmir from there on as their 11,000-odd home supporters egged on the team to go for the kill. But Santana stood strong in Chennai’s goal and kept the scores level at half time.

After the break, Kashmir’s Katebe headed a corner over the bar, while Chennai City’s Nestor failed to control a delicate pass by Sandro, which he merely had to tap in the goal.

Chennai head coach Akbar Nawas then brought on midfielder Pravitto Raju with at the hour mark but that did not deter the home side.

Krizo had another great opportunity in the 72nd minute when Robertson headed him through. The Ivorian dribbled past two defenders and unleashed a fine shot, but Santana was up to the task and parried it away.

With just nine minutes of regulation time left, Krizo finally found the back of the net, as he nodded in a cross from the right flank, sending the home fans into delirium.

Real Kashmir could have doubled their lead just four minutes later as Bazie Armand thudded a Surchandra corner onto the crossbar. Chennai City gave it an almighty effort in the last few minutes but failed to come up with the goods.