10-men Kenkre FC pay the penalty as they slump to a 1-0 defeat

Mumbai: Local outfit Kenkre FC showed promise and had their fair share of chances but let them slip and stumbled to a 0-1 to a fighting Neroca FC, in a second round match of the Second Division I-League (final round) at the Cooperage ground on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017.

The club from Mumbai failed to take advantage of the home conditions and despite putting up a dogged fight they could not produce the crucial goals which would have given them something to cheer. They now have just one point from two matches played as the Kenkre FC face an uphill battle.

Kouassi Yao played as a lone frontman for Kenkre FC, although he did drop deep on a few occasions to play as a false No 9. His side did start the brighter of the two, as Neroca took their time to get into the game. The opening 10 minutes saw two injury breaks, both going Kenkre’s way. However, it did seem that Kenkre FC had done their homework on Neroca, as the latter looked to break any kind of rhythm the away side seemed to be getting into.

The first opening came when the match was almost 20 minutes old, as Kouassi Yao muscled his way past two defenders only to be judged to have made a foul in the opponent box. Chances to shoot from distance kept popping up for Neroca, but were mostly wasteful. It was safe to say Kenkre had the majority of possession as the clock ticked 25 minutes for the water break.

Kenkre had a golden chance to open the deadlock when Kouassi Yao tied up Rohit Mirza courtesy a fast counter attack, but he shot agonisingly wide. At times it seemed that both the teams cancelled each other out in the midfield, a 5 v 5 midfield battle in the centre of the park. Interesting to think about the half time team talk, with both coaches surely looking for a win. A rare defensive lapse in the form of a misjudged clearance could have been the difference between the teams at half-time. However, the chance was squandered by Kenkre FC. Mackroy Peixoto, the creative lynchpin for Kenkre FC in the last match managed to win a foul right outside the penalty box as half-time loomed, but the chance was not taken.

Just past the hour’s mark Neroca FC took the lead courtesy their substitute forward Felix Chidi who capitalised on a defensive mistake to calmly slot the ball past the Kenkre keeper Avilash. It was a wake-up call for the home outfit. Just when Kenkre seemed to gradually come into the game and equalise, the away side won a penalty and had the chance to put the game to bed.

Felix, who had opened the scoring for Neroca FC stepped up to take the penalty but Avilash Paul made a spectacular diving save to keep Kenkre still in the game.

Kenkre FC will next take on Lonestar Kashmir in a third round match on Tuesday, April 18.

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