Kenkre under 19 win Don Bosco Challenge Cup 2016

Kenkre FC U19 the champions of Don Bosco Challenge Cup 2016

The final of the Don Bosco Challenge Cup 2016 featured Kenkre under-19 against Karnatak Sporting Association in a classic showdown at the Don Bosco ground, Kurla. Nathan Fernandes gave Kenkre under-19 a first-half lead, which was cancelled-out by a last-minute goal from Shailesh J. setting the final up to be decided on a pulsating penalty shoot-out. The topsy-turvy spot-kicks session concluded with Kenkre under-19’s Shuntan scoring the winning penalty, clinching a nail-biting 5-3 win in the shootout vs. K.S.A.

Kenkre under-19s gave an early scare, in the match to Karnatak Sporting Association, when Shuntan played a cross inside-the-box, which was chested-down by Arfhat, but the referee’s flag was up to end the move, much to the relief to the relief of the K.S.A defenders. Karnatak Sporting Association replied-back with an attempt from Nadeem Khan, whose powerful shot was fired wide of the left-hand post.

As the match matured, both sides began to play conservatively, looking to make damage on the counter-attack – an approach, which provided the sides to test the opposition in the transition; while, they patiently stepped-back and defended with maximum men behind the ball.

By the time, the first-half crossed its midway point, neither Karnatak Sporting Association nor Kenkre under-19s created enough goal-scoring moments to be credited with an opening-goal. Both side were unable to provide fluidity and consistency in their attacks as a number of half-chances and potential goal-scoring chances from open-play and set-pieces were wasted.

As the half entered into the final-stages, Kenkre under-19s took an upper-hand. A goal arrived at their disposal, 5 minutes before the half-time whistle, when a sharp movement from Nathan Fernandes was spotted by a clever back-heeled pass from Arfat Ansari, who released the former through on-goal as the number 27 calmly tossed the ball over the on-rushing Karthik P. and into the back of the net.

A hatful of half-hearted attempts followed, which lacked a proper structure and vision followed from Karnatak Sporting Association in the remaining 5 minutes of the first-half as it concluded with Kenkre under-19 F.C in the driver’s seat going into the second-half.

The second-30 minutes began in a similar fashion to the first-half. Kenkre under-19 started on an attacking note, but took a step-back and let Karnatak Sporting Association have a hold on the proceedings, fancying their chances on the break using the pace of the Nathan and Atang on either flanks – an approach, which almost cost them the match.

Karnatak Sporting Association played dangerously at the back during the build-up play throughout the match, which the Kenkre under-19s were always poised to pounce, but never propelled upon. On the opposition end of the pitch, Karnatak Sporting Association faced disappointing fortunes as they were left cold feet, every-time they reached the opposition penalty area.

As the game reached its closing minutes, Karnatak Sporting Association came agonizingly close to an equalizing-goal, but heroics from Kenkre under-19s backup goalkeeper Joe kept the red-and-whites at bay. An attempt from K.S.A’s Hitesh in the 22nd minute outside the box, having beaten the goalkeeper the number 8 could only see his shot rebound off the upright.

The 2016 Don Bosco Champions Cup was a story of two halves, and in the first minute of added-time at the end of normal-time, Kenkre under-19s stumbled for the first-time, allowing Shailesh J. to tap-in an equalizer from close-range.

With the score-line at 1-1, by the time, referee Clement D’Mello blew the full-time, the match was destined to go into the penalty shoot-out. Kenkre under-19s’ Shuntan grasped and blossomed to the opportunity of scoring the winning-penalty, taking advantage of Hitesh’s missed opportunity to convert the second penalty for Karnatak Sporting Association. Further individual glory followed for Shuntan, who was awarded the Best of the Defender of the tournament trophy, whereas Shailesh J. was duly credited with a Player of the Tournament honor.

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