I-League 2021-22: Kenkre FC snatch a draw against 10-man Rajasthan United FC

Rajasthan United FC and Kenkre FC played out a cagey affair. (Image Courtesy: Twitter/ILeagueOfficial)
Rajasthan United FC and Kenkre FC played out a cagey affair. (Image Courtesy: Twitter/ILeagueOfficial)

In a clash between the two new entrants, Rajasthan United FC squared off against Kenkre FC in the I-League on Friday.

Although Rajasthan went down to 10 men after defender Tarif Akhand was red-carded in the 82nd minute, they held on to the draw. However, the stalemate against bottom-placed Kenkre FC will come as a blow to RUFC.

With the game playing out in the warm afternoon hours at the Naihati Stadium, it was a cagey affair with both teams vying for possession in the opening phase. However, as the minutes rolled by, Rajasthan United FC focused on pressing high up the pitch and pressuring the Kenkre FC players into misplacing their passes.

Francesc Bonet's men kept possession of the ball and had their first effort on target in the 18th minute. RUFC's Sardor Jakhonov unleashed a low drive from 30 yards out but Kenkre FC goalkeeper Tenzin Samdup was up to the task.

Minutes later, Rajasthan came close once again through Pedro Manzi, who swung in a cross for Alocious Muthayyan. The forward's header was narrowly palmed away by Tenzin.

Against the run of play, Kenkre FC had the best opportunity of the half when Akeraj Martins was released in the Rajasthan United half. One-on-one with shot-stopper Bhaskar Roy, Martins unleashed a low curling shot. However, his effort ricocheted off the post and went out for a goal kick.

In the 33rd minute, Alocious had another darting run into the box but was brought down in the area. Although Rajasthan United FC appealed for a penalty, the referee waved off the calls.

Gyamar Nikum received a cross inside the box in the 42nd minute but his feeble header was comfortably collected by the goalie. At the stroke of half-time, Tenzin made yet another stop and Kenkre held off Rajasthan.


Kenkre FC strangulates the Rajasthan United FC attacking line

Coming out after the break, Rajasthan United continued their charge but couldn't find a breakthrough. Kenkre were happy to set up a low-block and let RUFC control the possession of the game.

Kenkre FC goalie Tenzin continued his fine form as he saved a powerful shot from outside the box from Ricky Shabong. In the 63rd minute, Kenkre FC were awarded a free kick in a dangerous location. However, Lester Fernandez's curling attempt was well short of the goal.

In the 74th minute, Vijay Nagappan attempted to enter the box but defender Gurmukh Singh closed him down. As the clock ran down, RUFC suffered a massive blow when Tarif Akhand was red-carded after he took down Akeraj Martins who was clear on goal.

Neither team managed to break the deadlock as the referee blew the final whistle. Kenkre FC are now at the bottom spot with just two points while Rajasthan are in sixth with nine points.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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