Kenkre FC and Rajasthan United FC registered slender 1-0 wins over Madan Maharaj and Delhi FC, respectively on matchday one of the final round of the I-League qualifiers at the Bengaluru Football Stadium in Bengaluru.
Kenkre FC and Madan Maharaj played out a rather cagey first half in the first game of the day. Both the teams showed different styles of play. While Kenkre FC depended on short passes and built from the back, Madan Maharaj resorted to quick counter-attacks and long balls to split open the Kenkre defence.
The first real chance of the game came in the early exchanges of the second half. Azfar Noorani (Kenkre FC) was clear on goal with an open net in front of him but was denied even from taking the shot courtesy a heroic last-ditch challenge from Abhishek Das.
Madan Maharaj had some scoring chances of their own throughout the game but never managed to be accurate in front of goal. Kenkre FC upped the ante in the final few minutes of the game and were eventually rewarded with a decisive goal in the 84th minute.
Pravitto Raju outjumped his marker Loveday inside the Madan Maharaj box to connect with a looping header past goalkeeper Shayan Roy. The Madan Maharaj goalkeeper was caught in no man's land and could only watch the ball go into the back of the net as Kenkre got all three points.
Rajasthan United score last minute winner to down Delhi FC in the I-League qualifiers
Rajasthan United and Delhi FC played out a similar kind of game in the second match of the day. The two teams both like to use the wings to their advantage. Both the teams were mostly engaged in a tactical midfield battle for much of the first half.
The first real chance of the game came up in the 70th minute. Rajasthan United's Aman Thapa ran past Samuel Shadap and just had the goalkeeper to beat from a low angle. Delhi FC goalkeeper Suraj Mallick made a fine save to deny Thapa.
Delhi FC got close to scoring as well but were denied by the woodwork in the 75th minute. Nikhil Mali's shot took a wide deflection off Rajasthan United defender Floyd Johnson and rattled the goal post before coming back into play.
Rajasthan United eventually took the lead in additional time to claim the win under heavy rain in Bengaluru. Aman Thapa's delivery from the corner was not cleared properly by Samuel Shadap who turned it into his own net.