ANI Photo | Mumbai Kenkre, Sudeva Delhi fight to stay afloat in I-League

Mumbai Kenkre FC have found some late form in the I-League. They surprised everyone on January 23, beating table-toppers Sreenidi Deccan 2-1. Then they lost to Gokulam Kerala by a solitary goal and held the mighty RoundGlass Punjab to a 3-3 draw. They fought hard even in the last match, before going down to NEROCA in Imphal. As a result, Akhil Kothari’s boys now have a realistic chance of moving out of the relegation zone.
If they manage to beat Sudeva Delhi here at the Cooperage Stadium on Monday, they will be on 17 points, just one behind Rajasthan United. If a few other results favour them and they play as good as they did against the top three teams in this second leg, Kenkre could avoid the drop. That will be the biggest motivation for today’s match.
Things had been tough for the bottom side of Sudeva Delhi right from the start. But with the introduction of Tajik forward Shavkati Khotam and Argentine forward Alexis Gomez, Sudeva Delhi coach Sankarlal Chakraborty has found some firepower up front. That has influenced his team’s performance in the last few matches, earning them the first win this season, against Rajasthan United. Nevertheless, Sudeva are still languishing at the foot of the I-League table with only six points in 15 matches. A win tomorrow will give them some hope for survival.

On Sunday, Chakraborty did not sound unreasonably hopeful. “We’ll try to garner as many points as possible in the last few matches. But Kenkre are a very solid team, particularly at home. It won’t be easy to take points off them.”
His counterpart Akhil Kothari sounded more upbeat. “We played well in the last game (against NEROCA) but couldn’t capitalise on the chances we got. Our entire focus now is on the game against Sudeva, and I hope to put up an improved performance,” he remarked.
“I believe we’ll be able to avoid the drop if we manage to convert our chances,” Kothari added. (ANI)

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