Srinagar: Real Kashmir FC registered their first win of the I-League season as they went on to defeat defending champions Chennai City FC 2-1 at the TRC Ground here on Thursday. The match was the first major sporting event in the valley after the Indian government repelled Article 370 last August.

Danish Farooq gave the hosts the lead before Bazie Armand doubled their advantage. Syed Suhail Pasha pulled one back for the visitors, but the Snow Leopards held on to bag all three points.

Back in front of their Srinagar faithful, it was Kashmir who kicked off the proceedings, being firmly in the driving seat.

The deadlock was broken in the 22nd minute when an exquisite set-piece delivery from Higginbotham found Danish Farooq in the box, who waved off his marker and made just the right contact with his head, to give Real Kashmir the lead through a clinical header. Santana got a hand to it, but the sheer venom in the header took it past him.

The hosts then doubled their lead in the 27th minute. Yet again, it was Higginbotham who was involved in the mix. He cut inside on the left, which created some space for him to deliver another immaculate delivery into the eighteen box and Bazie Armand was at the right place and at the right time to soar the highest and head it into the top corner, leaving Santana stranded between the sticks.