Real Kashmir FC takes on defending champion Chennai City FC in its first I-League home match of the season here on Thursday in the first big sporting event in the valley since it became a Union Territory.
Real Kashmir has played only two matches this season, both away and ending in draws, against East Bengal and Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) of Imphal.
The Snow Leopards have let a one-goal advantage slip in the final 13 minutes of both their matches, conceding an equaliser in the 77th and 78th minutes against East Bengal and TRAU respectively.
Although TRAU went 2-1 up against Real Kashmir later, Mason Robertson scored a quick equaliser to snatch a point.
Assessing his team’s last outing, Real Kashmir head coach David Robertson said: “In the second-half, TRAU had a go at us and we defended well. We had a great chance when Krizo was one on one with the goalkeeper and we could have killed the game. In football, these things happen. I am proud of my players and we could have scored more.”
Mason’s impressive outing in Imphal asserted the value he brings to the squad.
His two-goal show featured a clinical finish that went in off the inside of the woodwork for his first and a textbook header that levelled the scores for his second.
Asked about his son’s performance, David Robertson said: “Mason is a valuable player. He is very versatile. We are lucky to have him at Real Kashmir.
“As a father, I am delighted for him plus it makes it easier to pick your son if he is doing well.”
Chennai City, on the other hand, has made a slow start. It has just five points from four games, with the only victory coming against TRAU in its opener at Coimbatore.
Captain Roberto Eslava said: “We have shown intensity, so the points that we have dropped, have not been for the lack of it. We have shown this desire (to fight) in every game, and the next game against Kashmir won’t be any different.”