I-League 2021-22: Kenkre FC settles for a point against TRAU FC

Kenkre FC's Ranjeet Singh Pandhre in action against TRAU FC's Manash Protim Gogoi (Image Courtesy: Kenkre FC Instagram)
Kenkre FC's Ranjeet Singh Pandhre in action against TRAU FC's Manash Protim Gogoi (Image Courtesy: Kenkre FC Instagram)

Debutant Kenkre FC took on TRAU FC at the Kalyani Stadium in their latest match of the I-League 2021-22. The Mumbai-based club started their Phase 2 campaign with an impressive win against Sudeva Delhi FC only to fall short against Aizawl FC in the following match.

Meanwhile, TRAU FC haven't had a good start to their Phase 2 campaign also. Nandakumar Singh's side managed a point against the Indian Arrows and lost by a single goal against Sudeva Delhi FC.

The kick-off was postponed to 4.00 PM from the earlier 3.00 PM slot due to severe heatwaves in West Bengal. The two sides took the field in pursuit of bettering their records in the ongoing campaign.

The opening exchanges involved lackluster passing between the two teams. Neither side displayed any urgency to open their account in the game. After losing possession, both teams focussed on getting into their defensive shape rather than pressing their opponents to retain possession.

Nandakumar Singh's side played more with the ball, steadily progressing through the thirds. Meanwhile, Akhil Kothari's side were determined to use the flanks to create chances in the opposition's box.

However, Kenkre FC's plans were easily spoiled by TRAU FC's defense. The Red Pythons had almost opened their account in the game with Fernandinho finding himself with space to run into. Padam Chhetri got to the ball first and stopped the Manipur club from capitalizing on the situation.

Kenkre FC's attack became more ineffective due to their long-ball policy, which usually had no target and hence the team, on many occasions, were restricted to the middle third. They had to steadily adapt to a variation and chose to build from the back and slowly progress the ball using the wingers.

TRAU FC show gimpses of danger but fail to open account against Kenkre FC

FULL-TIME! ๐Ÿ•›A bruising battle ๐Ÿค• ends with the spoils being shared between @kenkrefootball and @officialtraufc ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›#KENTRA โš”๏ธ #HeroILeague ๐Ÿ† #LeagueForAll ๐Ÿค #IndianFootball โšฝ

The Imphal-based club's Joseph Olaleye and Fernandinho posed a massive threat to the Mumbai-based side. The two players combined to open up spaces between the opposition's midfield and defense.

However, Padam Chhetri was a rock at the back, dealing with anything that came his way. Kenkre FC's Ranjeet Pandre played an important role for his team, spearheading the attack. But on most occasions, the forward found himself amidst a crowd of opposition defenders.

Akeraj Martins tried for a counter-attack after winning possession from TRAU FC's corner. The winger used his pace to initiate the move and spotted Ranjeet's run from the left flank. He then passed the ball to his teammate but Ranjeet's heavy touch let him down and allowed Bishorjit Singh to get to the ball first.

In order to influence the game, both coaches made a few substitutions. Pravitto Raju, Kynsailang Khongsit, Yash Mhatre, and Arya Gandharva replaced Siddharth Colaco, Kynsailang Khongsit, Vijay Nagappan, and Ranjeet Singh Pandre for Kenkre FC.

Meanwhile, Ngangbam Pacha Singh, Akobir Turaev, Sapam Bishorjit Meitei, and Sorokhaibam Prikanta Singh replaced Laishram Milan Singh, Khanngam Horam, and Khundongbam Krishnananda Singh for TRAU FC.

Despite the substitutions, neither side could influence the result for the entire match and had to settle for a point each.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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