The I-league first division side Real Kashmir FC (RKFC) and second division's Mohammedan Sporting produced strong performances to down their Services opponents – Army Green and Indian Navy – by substantial margins, in the two Durand Cup encounters on Saturday.
The group ‘C’ match at the Kalyani Stadium saw Real Kashmir brightening its semifinal chances by overhauling Army Green 4-0. The match turned out to be a scrappy affair that saw three Army Green players ejected with red cards for dangerous play and unsporting conduct.
Chesterpaul Lyngdoh put RKFC ahead in the third minute before Singam Subash Singh doubled the tally in the 33rd minute. Real Kashmir established a 3-0 lead five minutes later when Lyngdoh found the net again for his second goal.
The Army side resorted to unfair tactics after the break seeing the ejection of Sajesh Muttath and Laishramnanish Singh in the 52nd and 55th minutes, respectively. With the armymen reduced to nine men there was not much intent from their end as Real Kashmir appeared content with preserving its first half-lead. Khaidem Vicky Meitei scored the fourth in the injury-time to make RKFC’s win more convincing. Vibin T.V. of Army Green was hauled up by referee Crystal John for ill discipline and was shown a red card after the match.
The group ‘B’ match at the Mohun Bagan ground saw Arthur Kouassi scoring five goals to help Mohammedan thrash Indian Navy 6-2. All eight goals came in the second half.
Kouassi opened the scoring in the 56th minute before Mudde Musa doubled the lead six minutes later. Navy's Britto PM halved the deficit in the 71st minute with a long range effort before found the target in the 72nd, 76th, 86th and 90th (penalty) minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
Britto then scored a consolation in the added time for Navy.
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