Air India scores two late goals to clinch a memorable win against Kenkre FC

10-men Air India made an incredible comeback, after being down 2-1 with only five minutes to play the holders scored twice in the dying minutes to win the match 3-2 against Kenkre FC in their MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association) Elite Division clash, at Cooperage Stadium on Monday evening.

Shawn Fernandes gave Kenkre FC a deserving lead in the first-half before Sagar Chile equalized for Air India in the second-half. Ivorian Yao Bernard restored the parity for Kenkre FC once again on the 63rd minute, but Air India were about to staged an incredible comeback in last stages of the match as they scored twice through Raynier Fernandes’s penalty and Vijith Shetty’s stoppage time goal to win the match 3-2.

Kenkre FC started off brightly as they dominated Air India for the whole first-half with their impressive pressing in the midfield. Loukik Jadhav came close to give Kenkre an early lead when he fancied a long range shot which sailed over the bar.

Kenkre FC finally took the lead after Loukik Jadhav provided a fantastic cross towards Shawn Fernandes, who poked the ball into the back of the net to give Kenkre FC a 1-0 lead on the 28th minute.

It was a well deserve lead by Kenkre who were looking more orgainzed than their opponents, at least for the first fourty-five minutes.

Two minutes after Shawn’s goal, Kenkre got another opportunity to double their lead. Egypsio Noronha was through on goal, but the attacker was tripped by Air India’s defender Wayne Vaz on the edge of the box. Wayne Vaz was shown marching orders as he was sent off, leaving Air India with only ten men.

With minutes left for the first-half to end, Kenkre’s Yao Bernard lashed a powerful shot from 20 yards, which struck the post. Kenkre defended their one goal lead to went into the break with heads up high.

In the second-half, Air India took their game to their standard as they were quick enough to level the things up on the 55th minute, Sagar Chile brilliantly headed into the back of the net to give Air India a ray of hope to stage a comeback.

But on the 63rd minute, Kenkre’s Yao Bernard had other plans when he dribbled from the left flank and went on to score a incredible goal to give Kenkre the lead for the second time in the game.

With Kenkre sitting deeply to avoid conceding another goal, Air India pressurized the backline of Kenkre and on the 85th minute they were awarded with a penalty when Shivakumar brought down Aaron D’Costa in the box.

Shivakumar who was already booked received his second yellow and was shown marching orders in the last stages of the match.

Raynier Fernandes stepped up and converted the penalty comprehensively to level the score at 2-2.

But there was yet another twist in the tale. Deep into the stoppage time Air India’s Vijith Shetty’s cross into the box was missed by everyone including Kenkre’s goalkeeper Siyas and straightaway found the back of the net to complete the turnaround.

Kenkre’s player couldn’t believed what hit them hard. Losing the lead twice, in the game where the opponents are playing with only ten men for majority of the match is surely not in Kenkre’s gameplan.

As for Air India, they need to play with the same intensity for throughout the match which they have been known for. Although their ‘never die attitude’ today deserve a applause.

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