Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 15 (ANI): Delhi FC made it four wins from as many matches with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Kenkre FC in the I-League qualifiers 2021 at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru.
A 1st-minute goal from Laiwang Bohham sealed the deal for Delhi FC on Thursday as they overcame their rivals from Maharashtra who will be joining them in the final round of the qualifiers.
The final round is set to be contested in a round-robin format between Delhi FC, Kenkre FC, Madan Maharaj FC and Rajasthan United FC from Monday.
With both sides having already qualified for the final round before the match got underway, neither side was willing to field their strongest lineup as both Delhi FC and Kenkre FC made seven changes each to their starting lineup from their respective last matches.
Delhi FC got their breakthrough in the very first minute of the match owing to their high press as they capitalised on an under-hit pass from Kenkre FC to swarm their penalty box.
For the remainder of the first half, the momentum in the game swung both ways, but neither team was able to gain the upper hand or create a clear cut goal scoring chance. Going into halftime, Delhi FC controlled more of the ball with 63 per cent possession compared to Kenkre FC's 37 per cent.
Kenkre FC began to grow into the game ten minutes into the second half. With Kenkre FC beginning to threaten the slender one-goal advantage, Delhi FC made a string of substitutions in the following minutes, bringing on their prominent players in Nikhil Mali, Willis Plaza and Anwar Ali
However, Kenkre FC were presented with another route back into the game in the 82nd minute when Delhi FC club captain Anwar Ali was sent off with a straight red card for a foul on goalkeeper Bishorjit Singh. The dismissal means that Delhi FC's lynchpin in defence will miss at least the first match in the final round.
Following the result, Delhi FC ended their group stage campaign at the top with 12 points whereas Kenkre wrapped up with seven. (ANI)