I-League Qualifiers 2021: Kenkre, Rajasthan FC pick late wins in final round opener
The final round of the I-League Qualifiers kicked off at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru, on Monday.
In Matchday 1 of the final round, Kenkre started off with a 1-0 win over Madan Maharaj, while Rajasthan FC defeated Delhi FC by the same margin.
Kenkre down Madan Maharaj
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Kenkre rode on a late strike by Pravitto Raju (84') to register a win in their opening fixture against Madan Maharaj.
The side from Maharashtra could have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute but Varun Mathur was unable to convert a low cross from Ranjeet.
MMFC mentor-cum-coach Mehtab Hossain tried to chip the ball past rival goalkeeper goalkeeper Tenzin Samdup who was off his goal line but failed to hit the target.
Kenkre's Aravind Rajan and Suraj Singh Negi also had missed chances to score while Samdup was at hand to block an attempt from Biren Rai at the opposite end. Finally, Pravitto Raju broke the deadlock as he headed in a cross by Rinaldo Fernandes past MMFC goalkeeper Shayan Roy.
Delhi FC succumb to an injury time goal
Rajasthan FC began their campaign in the final round with a 1-0 win over Delhi FC courtesy an injury time goal by Aman Thapa (90+1').
Delhi suffered an early blow as goalkeeper James Kithan had to be replaced by Suraj Mallick owing to a muscle injury to the former.
After a goalless first half, Rajasthan's Inder Singh headed wide from around six yards out from Aman Thapa's flagkick in the 53rd minute.
Though Mallick kept Delhi in the game with a 71st minute save to deny Aman, Floyd John's attempt came off the horizontal on the other side. But Aman scored from a corner kick in injury time, though it appeared to come off Delhi defender Samuel Shadap.