Real Kashmir FC got the better of Gokulam Kerala 1-0 to jump to the top of the I-League standings and keep alive their hopes of clinching the title in their first season in top flight.
Ivorian striker Gnohere Krizo scored the all-important goal in the 51st minute to hand Real Kashmir full three points from the match played under rain and snow at the TRC Ground in Srinagar on Wednesday.
The Jammu and Kashmir team now has 32 points from 16 matches and are two points ahead of Chennai City FC, who have two games in hand.
But with the tournament heading towards the business end, Real Kashmir needed three points keep their hopes alive and they managed to eke out a win in extremely difficult conditions.
It started snowing before the match began and led to a heavy downpour. The whole of the second half was played under rain with the players finding it difficult to control the ball which stopped at areas of the synthetic turf where water collected. Ground passing was not possible and the players had to take the aerial route most of the time.
While Real Kashmir made just one chance to their starting line up that held Churchill Brothers to a 1-1 draw with Krizo coming in for Ritwik Das, the visitors made wholesale changes but could not find a way through the hosts.
Despite the difficult playing conditions, Real Kashmir dominated play through out the 90 minutes and Krizo broke the deadlock after latching in on the rebound following Farhan Ganie’s goal-bound shot.