AIFF Media Team
Kenkre FC 0
Corbett FC 0
Bengaluru: After two strong wins in their Pool B campaign, Kenkre FC settled for a 0-0 draw against Corbett FC. On top of the Pool B points table, Kenkre FC have one match in hand in the Hero I-League Qualifiers group stage.
Riding on the success from their wins against ARA FC and Kerala United, the team from Maharashtra didn’t look as dangerous in today’s game. Both teams ensured a controlled start and didn’t try anything out of the usual. Corbett FC created an opportunity as early as the 12th minute through John Chidi. However, the ball clipped the outside of the left post.
Kenkre FC, meanwhile, worked steadily to grow into the game. However, an alert Corbett FC defence kept them out. Chances were few and far between for either side. Rinaldo Fernandes got into the box from the right flank and received a fine cross, but the Corbett FC defenders did well to ward off a shot on goal. The team from Mumbai continued to showcase good possession play, often putting Corbett FC’s defence under pressure. Corbett FC goalkeeper Ahamed Asfar was always on hand to deny the high-flying Kenkre FC. In the 35th minute, he made a fine save to deny Fernandes another potential goal.
Asfar remained the star of Corbett FC’s defence as he displayed some fine goalkeeping skills in today’s match. Kenkre FC had a fantastic chance to score in the 44th minute. Some brilliant passing and movement resulted in a great scoring opportunity but the crossbar denied them a 1-0 lead.
At half-time, both teams remained in a stalemate. In the second half, Kenkre FC stitched together a few excellent attacking moves, but the team from Uttarakhand managed to keep them out. A huge chance fell to Pravitto Raju of Kenkre FC in the 68th minute, but his shot went wide off the post. While the rain poured down in the dying minutes of the match, neither of the teams could break the deadlock.
With just five minutes of play remaining, Yash Mhatre went in for an ambitious header, but the ball went over the crossbar. It was a difficult game for both teams, and they would probably be happy with a point each.
Eventually, Kenkre FC qualify for the next round of the Hero I-League Qualifiers 2021.
Delhi FC 2 (47’ Anwar Ali, 60’ Himanshu Jangra)
Kerala United FC 1 (23’ Hrishi Dhath)
BENGALURU: Delhi FC continued their winning form in the Hero I-League Qualifiers 2021 with a comeback win over fellow Hero I-League aspirants Kerala United FC. After Delhi FC fell behind to a sublime strike from Hrishi Dhath, the Surinder Singh-led side came back to score two goals, with captain Anwar Ali and substitute Himanshu Jangra getting on the scoresheet for the team from the capital.
Both teams began the contest cautiously before the first chance of the game fell Delhi FC’s way after a clearance from Delhi FC goalkeeper James Kithan bounced into the Kerala United box to cause a chaos in their backline. After laiwang Bohhan failed to bring the ball under his spell, midfielder Mohammed Shahjahan took a snapshot that blazed over the crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, Hrishi Dhath scored a peach of a goal to open the scoring. As Delhi FC failed to clear the danger from the initial cross from the right flank, Bujair Valiyattu smartly laid the ball back for his teammate Hrishi, who produced a world class first time hit that arrowed into the top corner giving goalkeeper James Kithan no chance.
Kerala United warranted their lead, but Delhi FC came back into the match strongly to get the control. By the 35th minute of the game, Delhi FC were dominating with 62% possession of the ball. The team from the capital came close once again in the 39th minute through an exquisite effort from winger Nikhil Mali, but his shot with the outside of his left foot slid past the frame of the goal. Midway through the first half, Delhi FC brought on striker Willis Plaza to involve a focal point in attack. However, as things stood, KUFC went into halftime with their one goal lead in tact.
After the changeover, Delhi FC came back with renewed inspiration and got their reward instantly. As they upped the tempo in attack, Delhi FC earned a corner, which was taken by Karandeep Singh. Goalkeeper Midhun V got a hand to the initial cross amidst a tussle inside the box, but the ball did not travel a long disand bounced into the path of Delhi FC captain Anwar Ali, who was on hand to head home the equaliser. This was Anwar Ali’s third goal in the competition.
Once they restored parity, Delhi FC were relentless in their pursuit of the winner. In the 56th minute, Nikhil Mali isolated the opposition full back and produced a low cross into the feet of striker Willis Plaza. Plaza recognised the support of his teammate around him as he laid off a first time pass for Shaiza Rinreithan. Shaiza looked for a deceptive effort into a narrow opening but to no avail.
Delhi FC finally registered the final goal of the game at the hour mark through substitute Himanshu Jangra. After taking a short corner, As the cross flew into the far post, Jangra dashed into the far post to head the ball home.
Kerala United’s best chance to eqaulise came to substitute Jesin Thonikkara from a corner taken by skipper Arjun Jayaraj.
Delhi FC saw off the dangers till the final whistle to seal their spot in the final round.