SRINAGAR: With the Hero I-League 2022-23 nearing its conclusion, Mumbai Kenkre, currently placed 11th and battling relegation, have travelled to Srinagar to take on Real Kashmir in a crucial game at the TRC Stadium on Thursday, March 2, 2023. The match will kick off at 2:00 pm IST.
After a win against heavyweights and title contenders Sreenidi Deccan in January, Mumbai Kenkre have gone on a winless streak of six games. Though they held leaders RoundGlass Punjab to a 3-3 draw during this run, it hasn’t helped their cause as they remain in the drop zone. Needless to say, any further slip by the Mumbai side would make survival even more difficult for them. Their Thursday’s opponents Real Kashmir have not lost in their last five games.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Mumbai Kenkre head coach Akhil Kothari emphasised the importance of the match for the club. “We are aware of our situation and the challenge that we will face in Kashmir,” he said. “The attitude of the players has been fantastic, and I think we are going to work hard to get the maximum points tomorrow,” Kothari added.
Real Kashmir technical director Gifton Noel-Williams acknowledged the tough challenge that could be posed by Mumbai Kenkre. He said, “Even though Kenkre are one of the bottom sides, they have many good players and play good football. If we are not at our best, they can beat us. We will play our game, move the ball around and make things difficult for Kenkre.”
Real Kashmir secured only their second away win of the season in their previous game against TRAU, and Noel-Williams attributes the victory to a more consistent approach from his side in recent games. He said, “Home or away, it is the three points that matter. We approach each game in a similar way. Against TRAU, we started quick, they had many good players but we made sure they didn’t play well and I think we did a good job.”
This will be Real Kashmir’s last home game of the season, and Noel-Williams hopes to win it for the fans. “I hope we will get many fans in the stadium tomorrow. It is our last home game of the season and the players will give their hundred percent to win it for all the supporters,” the Englishman said.
Likewise, for the fans of Mumbai Kenkre, Kothari said, “To all the people watching us, who have backed us through all the difficult challenges in the past, I hope we will have your support tomorrow as well.”
The match between Real Kashmir and Mumbai Kenkre will be telecast live on Eurosport and Doordarshan Sports and streamed live on the Discovery Plus OTT platform at 2 pm IST.