Agency LUDHIANA: Punjab FC”s unbeaten home run continued as they defeated Real Kashmir FC by a solitary goal in an I-League match here on Sunday. Dipanda Dicka struck the match-winner in the 44th minute as he became the joint top goal-scorer with nine in his kitty — tied with Mohun Bagan”s Fran Gonzalez. Punjab FC now have 21 points from 13 games whereas Real Kashmir have 15 points from 10 matches. The first half began with Robin Singh taking up the mantle of being the lead striker as Real Kashmir FC featured in an encounter after a week-long break. Punjab FC had better ball possession in the first half and Real Kashmir relied mainly on counter attacks to make something happen. With a lot of game being played in the midfield, it was looking as if the half will end with parity. However, Punjab FC had other ideas. In the 44th minute, an attack which started with the Punjab talisman Dipanda Dicka was joined in by Cavin Lobo. Dicka played a beautiful one-two with Lobo and with a delightful first-time strike, he sent the ball between the legs of the Real Kashmir FC keeper to put his team in front just before half-time. Punjab FC carried the momentum in the second session as they built pressure on the Snow Leopards. Soon after, it was Dicka again who came up with a strong left-footed strike from the edge of the box and it needed Real Kashmir keeper Phurba Lachenpa to come up with a diving save on the near post. The game then went into a phase where there was not many chances for both the teams. Punjab FC were pretty content in holding on to the 1-0 lead and were sitting back to ensure that Real Kashmir weren”t able to string a proper attack. With less than 10 minutes to go in regular time, it was second-half substitute Souvik Das who had a go at the Real Kashmir goal from a distance with an out-swinging strike which needed Real Kashmir keeper to come up with a diving one-handed save. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Real Kashmir got their best opportunity of the match. A ball from the right flank by Mason Robertson found a leaping Bazie Armand”s head inches away from the goal but instead of finding the back of the net, the ball went over the crossbar.
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