PIFA Colaba hold wasteful Kenkre FC in the U-19 I-League

Kenkre FC were made to rue missed opportunities as PIFA Colaba held them to a 1-1 draw in the Maharashtra Qualifying Zone game of the U-19 I-League held at Cooperage on 17th January 2015.

The draw means, Kenkre leave themselves way too adrift of second placed Pune FC U-19 with just two games to play.

Kenkre FC needed a win to keep their chances alive in this competition, while PIFA Colaba were looking for their first win in this year’s competition in a bid to get off the foot of the table.

They nearly took a step in that direction, when Amey Bhatkal sent a header crashing against the crossbar in the 5th minute. Unfortunately, the PIFA player who met the rebound was offside as Kenkre FC got off the hook.
Two minutes later, Kenkre added insult to injury for PIFA Colaba as they took the lead through as Rohan Dalvi headed home a cross from Kenkre’s right flank. The Kenkre FC forward was totally unmarked near the six yard area as he punished PIFA Colaba for poor marking.

PIFA Colaba nearly responded in the 15th minute, as Pragnesh Solanki sneaked in behind the Kenkre FC defence and fire a shot at goal which was brilliantly cleared off the line by the retreating Kenkre FC backline. The rebound fell kindly to Pragnesh Solanki as the Kenkre FC defenders denied him for a second time to clear the danger.

Four minutes later, Kenkre FC nearly doubled their advantage as Yash Mhatre headed straight at the PIFA goalkeeper after he was picked out from a Kenkre free kick near the center circle. PIFA Colaba were nearly made to pay again for their poor marking.
As the game progressed PIFA Colaba started getting into the game. The men from Colaba were now dictating majority of the play, but without working the Kenkre goalkeeper.
Kenkre’s Atif Shaikh brilliantly went past PIFA’s last man in the 37th minute, but his final effort was weak as it went tamely wide of the goal. It was another opportunity missed by Kenkre to double their lead before the interval.

Kenkre held that slender lead as they went into half time leading after a very even first half’s play. PIFA Colaba showed plenty of promise, but Kenkre FC clearly edged them in terms of chances created.

Kenkre’s first half misses proved to be costly as PIFA Colaba equalized, four minutes from the restart, as Pragnesh Solanki tapped in from close range after the Kenkre keeper had parried an effort from Amey Bhatkal in his path. It was a good move from PIFA as Amey Bhatkal was nicely set up to shoot after a cut back from their right wing.

Kenkre FC nearly regained the lead in the 55th minute when Abuzer Beg brilliantly broke free of his marker to shoot from a tight angle. Unfortunately for Kenkre FC his shot went wide after kissing the upright on its way.

Kenkre FC threw Sekhar Bhattacharya into the fray replacing Rohan Dalvi. That nearly did the trick in the 71st minute when, Sekhar Bhattacharya’s struck the upright after latching on to the loose ball resulting from a fine save by the PIFA goalkeeper from Yash Mhatre’s shot.

It was all Kenkre as we entered the last quarter of the game, as they chased the all-important winner. Yash Mahtre nearly got them the winner in the 82nd minute when he was through on goal, but his chipped effort went just over the crossbar. A minute later Abuzer Beg blasted his effort just over the crossbar after finding plenty of space to unleash a shot.
As Kenkre threw more and more men forward, PIFA nearly punished them on the break, but were denied by some brave goalkeeping by the Kenkre shot stopper.

The game was getting very intense as we entered the final five minutes of the game. There was an urgency in Kenkre FC’s play as they went in search of a winning goal as PIFA were looking for some joy on the break. There was plenty of support for Kenkre FC in the house as they cheered Kenkre FC on in the final few minutes.

Faizan Thange missed a glorious chance to give Kenkre the three points in stoppage time as he fired a shot from close range straight at the PIFA Colaba goalkeeper.

It proved to be a costly miss as the referee signaled the end of the game as Kenkre FC were held for the second time in the competition by PIFA Colaba. The Kenkre players lied down in agony after the game as they knew their chances of qualifying from the group were very much over.

PIFA Colaba produced a good display to earn themselves a point which takes them just within a point of Mumbai FC as they look to move off the bottom of the table.

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