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10-man Rajasthan United hold Kenkre FC to extend unbeaten run

Published at :March 26, 2022 at 2:16 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : I-League Media)

Joseph Biswas

RUFC have also kept five consecutive clean-sheets in I-League 2021-22.

Rajasthan United FC earned their fifth straight clean sheet as they played out a goalless draw against Kenkre FC at Naihati Stadium in an I-League 2021/22 match on Friday. While Rajasthan dominated possession in most of the match, defender Tarif Akhand was handed a red card in the 82nd minute, opening the door for Kenkre FC to steal a win. But the Mumbai club could not find the winner and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

The match started with Rajasthan United FC dominating the ball and entering deep into Kenkre FC’s box. In the 3rd minute, Rajasthan received a corner but it was well defended by Vijay Nagappan. Two minutes later, Zacharie Mbenda was again needed to be alert on his defensive duties as Rajasthan attempted two more shots.

Kenkre continued to lose the ball cheaply as Rajasthan dominated the early minutes of the match. In the 10th minute, Ricky Shabong took a left-footed shot from outside the six-yard box, but it went wide off the mark. In the 15th minute, Kenkre FC received a corner, but Lester Fernandez’s cross was safely gathered by Rajasthan goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy.

In the 17th minute, Sardor Jakhonov took a powerful strike at the goal from nearly 30 yards out but the Kenkre goalkeeper Tenzin Samdup made a comfortable save, denying the Uzbek playmaker. A few minutes later, Tenzin made another tremendous save as Alocious headed in a ball on the target. Kenkre received a golden opportunity of their own as Akeraj Martins went one-on-one with the Rajasthan goalkeeper, but his shot found the goalpost and went outside.

In the 35th minute, Alocious went down onto the ground in the box, as Rajasthan United launched into appeals of penalty. But the referee remain unconvinced and the play went on. In the 42nd minute, Gyamar Nikum received a cross inside the box, but his feeble header was safely gathered by the goalkeeper. Tenzin made yet another save at the stroke of half-time and Kenkre managed to hold on Rajasthan in the first half.

At the start of the second half, Aman Thapa replaced Alocious as Rajasthan United FC showcased attacking intent. In the 49th minute, Shilton D’Silva earned a free kick for him with Lester Fernandez committing a foul. But the set play was easily defended by Kenkre FC and the opportunity was missed.

In the 54th minute, Pritam Singh was taken down by Aravindraj Rajan just outside the box. But the ensuing free-kick did not yield any result. Kenkre goalkeeper Tenzin continued to have a good day as he saved a powerful shot from the outside taken by Ricky Shabong. Kenkre FC received a free kick in the 63rd minute in a dangerous area. But Lester Fernandez’s curling shot missed the goal by a big margin.

In the 74th minute, Vijay Nagappan tried to enter the box but defender Gurmukh Singh kept his calm and averted the danger. Rajasthan United received a major blow in the 82nd minute as Tarif Akhand received a straight red card after he took down Akeraj Martins who was clear on goal following a counter-attack. With Rajasthan going one man down, Kenkre FC saw an opportunity to get the winner and started scripting attacking moves.

In the injury time, Ricky Shabong made another attempt from outside the box, but it again went over the goalpost. With the clock ticking down, Kenkre FC sat deep inside their box as the 10-man Rajasthan continued to search for the winner. But they were unable to script any dangerous moves and the match ended in a stalemate.

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