Kenkre FC beat Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1 to make winning start in I LeagueNovember 15, 2022, Delhi
Kenkre FC started their I-League campaign on a winning note, beating hosts Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1 at the chhatrasal stadium.
After the teams were locked 1-1 at half time, Azfar Noorani scored in the 61st minute to clinch the issue in favour of Kenkre FC. The match began with the Mumbai outfit making all efforts to find their attackers through long balls, while Sudeva FC tried to play with quick passes.
However, neither team could make any tangible in roads in the rival area. The first real chance got into Sudeva’s way when their Nigerian forward Odili Felix Chidi saw his shot saved by Kenkre goalkeeper Padam Chettri in the eighth minute. However, four minutes later, Kenkre FC drew the first blood as defender Ahmed Faiz Khan scored from a corner kick. The home side grew into the game after conceding the goal and started dictating terms in the midfield.
In the 15th minute, a corner kick taken by Sudeva’s 18-year-old Seilenthang Lotjem was defended poorly by the Kenkre defence. Kynsailang Khongsit’s rather uncertain clearance found Sudeva captain Nishchal Chandan in a good position, but his powerful shot hit the post. Though Sudeva FC had an edge in the first half, Kenkre’s Aravindraj Rajan and Noorani managed to keep the rival defence on their toes with some good runs.
At the half-hour mark, Kiran Pandhare had a nervy moment when he lost the ball to Felix Chidi but was relieved to find Chidi shot straight to goalkeeper Chettri. Sudeva’s Japanese recruit, Kosuke Uchida played a pivotal role in the midfield for the hosts as he dropped deep on several occasions to initiate effective moves through the wings.
During the add-on times of the first half, young Sudeva winger R Lawmnasangzuala found Basit Ahmed Bhat with a fine cross and Basit’s perfect header found the equaliser for the home side. The second half began at a slow pace with both the teams trying to find their rhythm back. Basit remained active on the left with some fine moves with good dribbling.
Once he put in a wonderful cross, finding Tetsuaki Misawa who couldn’t keep his shot down. Kenkre regained their lead at the hour mark as Rajan provided a great through ball to Noorani, who struck powerfully to find the target.
Kenkre almost scored the third goal when Noorani put in a cross from the left flank for Kiran Pandhare, who came up with a good header but his attempt was saved by the Sudeva custodian Ashish Sibi. Sudeva stepped up their attacks in the final quarter. Substitute Francis Uchenna Nwankwo put in multiple crosses into the opponents’ box but his teammates failed to capitalise on them.