Kenkre S.C survive an onslaught from ten men Mumbai FC to grab all three points in the U-19 I-League

Junior I-League

Kenkre S.C U-19 got off the mark in the Maharashtra Qualifying Zone of the U-19 I-League with a hard fought 1-0 win over ten men Mumbai FC U-19 at Cooperage on 20th December 2014.

Mumbai F.C were the fancied teams of the duo as they played on their home patch. But the odds were heavily upset in the 18th minute when Mumbai FC goalkeeper fouled Kenkre’s Abuzer Beg in the box, resulting in a penalty for the visitors and a red card for the Mumbai FC shot stopper.

Kenkre’s Yash Mhatre stepped up and converted the penalty in the bottom corner, leaving Mumbai FC with an uphill task. The eleven men of Kenkre SC had grown in confidence as Yash Mhatre nearly got his second after a great bit of one-two with midfielder Rhishikesh Shinde in the 21st minute.

Three minutes later, it was Mumbai FC’s turn to test the Kenkre goalkeeper as Nachiket Palav headed straight to the Kenkre goalkeeper after making a late run to get on the end of a Prince Anandraj free kick.

The chance seemed to have restored Mumbai FC’s lost confidence, as their ten men began to threaten the Kenkre goal, initially forcing a save from Adil Sameja from Rahul Raj’s effort in the 27th minute and then forcing an error from the Kenkre goalkeeper who scuffed his clearance as Rahul Raj nearly profited again six minutes later.

There was no evidence of numerical deficit as Mumbai FC nearly restored parity two minutes later, when Nachiket Palav’s run was brilliantly picked out and he raced into the box from the right flank to cut back for Rahul Raj to finish but he blew his shot over. Poor miss from the Mumbai FC striker.

Mumbai FC were desperate for an equalizer before half time as they put a lot of pressure on the Kenkre goal with a good spell of possession in the dying minutes of the first half. They nearly profited two minutes into when Janaminlen Khongsai nicely controlled a long ball and turned, only to see his effort go just wide.

Kenkre S.C hung on to the lead as the referee blew for half time. Kenkre’s numerical advantage was barely visible as they were struggling to cope with Mumbai FC’s attacks. Despite being a goal down, it would be Abdul Siddhique who would be happier of the two managers.

Mumbai FC carried on from where the left in the first half exploiting the space behind the high backline of Kenkre SC. Kenkre were playing a dangerous game as they allowed the Mumbai FC midfield a lot of time and space to pick out the goal bound forwards.

In the 53rd minute, Mumbai FC’s Suraj Negi hit the side netting after being played in on goal. The chances were coming thick and fast for hosts and they needed to make one count.

Kenkre SC made their first real opening of the second half at the hour mark as striker Yash Mhatre did well to drag the Mumbai FC center back wide and picking out Atif Shaikh who ran into the space vacated by the center back, but the Adil Sameja sniffed the danger as he was swiftly out of the line to block Atif Shaikh’s effort.

Mumbai FC continued to dominate the proceedings but failed to make a break through, as frustration was beginning to set in with a few sloppy passes from the Mumbai FC midfield. Mumbai FC manager sensed that and threw Prathamesh Rokade in the mix in the 70th minute with a view to freshen things up.

Kenkre SC responded with a substitution of their own as manager Oscar Alva replaced Sekhar Bhattacharya with Rinaldo Fernandes. Nachiket Palav was involved again as he twisted and turned to create space for a shot which was blocked by the Kenkre defence in the 77th minute.

A minute later, there were appeals for a handball from Mumbai FC when a header seemed to strike a Kenkre defender’s hand. The appeal was more out of desperation than anything and the referee rightly brushed it off.

Mumbai FC won a free kick in a promising position in the 82nd minute which was taken by Prince Anandraj who forced a brilliant save from Adil Sameja as he tipped over a curling effort from Mumbai FC’s No.8.

It was the last roll of the dice from Mumbai FC when they threw Rakesh Karmarkar on in the 87th minute in place of Rahul Raj. A minute later, Janaminlen Khongsai nearly went past a wall of Kenkre SC defenders as he failed to go past the last one.

Mumbai FC threw the kitchen sink at Kenkre SC as the referee signaled for five stoppage time minutes. Prince Anandraj and Janaminlen Khongsai put their efforts wide as Kenkre SC held on for a famous victory which set them rolling in this season’s U-19 I-League.

Mumbai FC on the other hand, need to pick themselves up after this reverse as they face the League Leaders DSK Shivajians next in the Maharshtra Zone of the U-19 I-League.

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