Late Bernard strike rescues Kenkre FC against Union Bank of India

Kenkre S.C needed a late strike from their Ivorian striker Yao Bernard to salvage a 2-2 draw against Union Bank of India in an Elite Division game of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) at Cooperage on Saturday, 23rd May 2015.

Kenkre FC who were playing their fourth game in a week had their task cut out against a formidable Union Bank side who cemented a top half spot in the Elite Division this season.

After a slow start to the game, Kenkre took the lead in the game on 15 minutes when Yogesh Kadam beautifully chipped home over the UBI goalkeeper after he had latched on to a loose ball at the edge of the area. It was a fine finish from the Kenkre No.20 which put his team in front.

Five minutes later, UBI nearly found their equalizer when Shravan Shetty’s cross almost sneaked into the net before Kenkre goalkeeper Syed Hasan Nawaz tipped the ball over the crossbar.

There was a big injury lay-off in the game as Kenkre’s Arish Sutaria got injured while chasing down a pass. Head Coach Joshua Lewis had to replace him with Manash Sarkar in the 40th minute.

Kenkre missed a glorious chance to double their lead in the 45th minute when Yogesh Kadam headed a cross from Subhas Chakraborty wide from six yards out. Yogesk Kadam was totally unmarked and should have added to his opener.

There was to be yet another chance for the men in yellow which came in the 4th minute of six minute stoppage time at the end of the first half when Ivorian striker Yao Bernard robbed the UBI center back to race at their goal only to see his chipped effort over the goalkeeper sail over the goal.

Kenkre had to pay for their missed chances deep into the sixth minute of stoppage time when Mrunal Tandel drew UBI level as he rounded off a fine UBI move with a tap in from six yards which rolled in the back of the net as UBI and Kenkre went into the break level at 1-1.

Kenkre started the second half on the front foot but a loose ball in midfield allowed a UBI attacker to race clear dangerously. Kenkre’s Shivkumar M. cynically brought him down to avert the danger but found his name taken into the referee’s book.

UBI brought on Pratik Koli in place of Titus Uttankar in the 60th minute with a view of forcing a victory in a tight game between two evenly matched sides.

Julian D’Silva’s substitution proved to be a masterstroke as Pratik Koli gave UBI the edge which they had lacked all throughout the match and eventually put them in the lead in the 81st minute when he got on the end of a superb Neehar Mukne through ball to slot past the Kenkre goalkeeper and spark celebrations among a decent supporter turnout for the Bankers.

Kenkre threw on Faizan Thange in the dying minutes of the game to salvage a point from the game. Kenkre had a decent opening in the 90th minute when striker Yao Bernard powered his way into the box, but his final effort was well wide of the target.

But Kenkre managed to draw level in the 3rd minute of stoppage time when substitute Francisco Dominic’s free kick was headed back into the danger area allowing Ivorian forward Yao Bernanrd to bundle it over the line and salvage a point for Kenkre.

The game ended in a 2-2 stalemate, a result which was a fair reflection of the afternoon’s play with very little to choose between the two sides.

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