PIFA, Kenkre entertain in a 2-2 stalemate

PIFA Colaba and Kenkre FC produced an entertaining 2-2 draw in their final game of the Maharashtra Zone of the U-15 I-League at Cooperage on Saturday evening. Kenkre twice took the lead through early goals in each half, but an impressive PIFA Colaba hit back twice to earn a point.

Kenkre FC were gifted an early lead by PIFA Colaba as a back pass in the 4th minute was intercepted by Kenkre’s Sanathan Sridhar who held his nerve to slot a cool finish past the hapless PIFA Colaba goalkeeper. The goal was testimony to Sridhar’s quality in front of the goal as the Kenkre forward never really looked like missing the target.

But Nirvan Shah’s side showed a lot of heart and responded brilliantly to the early setback. Minutes after falling behind, PIFA almost carved open the Kenkre defence with a brilliant passing move, but a last ditch interception from the Kenkre defender preserved his side’s lead for the moment.

Kenkre through matched PIFA Colaba with some astute defending and kept them at bay until a blunder in first half stoppage time cost the men in yellow strips a penalty. PIFA Colaba’s Akash Jadhav stepped up to convert from the spot and send PIFA into the break on level terms.

Kenkre who seemed inspired by their manager’s half time team talk made it much more of an even contest in the second half and got their reward in the 59th minute when Sanathan Sridhar captalized on some loose defending by the PIFA full back and drive at the PIFA defence from the right side. Kenkre’s goalscorer in the first half showed great composure in turning provider this time out as he slid a cut back in Krish Adhikari’s path who bundled in from close range a minute before the hour mark.

Once again PIFA Colaba’s response to conceding a goal was fabulous as they worked up a siege around the Kenkre goal. Despite their best efforts, Kenkre failed to keep hold of the ball, before the pressure eventually told when Akash Jadhav equalized for the second time in the 72nd minute.

PIFA Colaba pushed hard for a winner, but some resolute defending from the away side meant the men in orange had to settle for a point. The point was enough for Kenkre FC to finish in the third place in the Maharashtra Zone ahead of PIFA Colaba who finished in fourth place ahead of DSK Shivajians FC and Steadfast Academy.

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