MUMBAI: Southern Samity suffered the first defeat of their final round campaign of the 2016/17 I-League 2nd Division by going down 2-0 to Kenkre FC on Saturday.
Deepak Tirkey and Rohit Mirza found the target in either side of pitch to hand Kenkre their first win of the final round at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai.
The result saw Southern Samity remained at second place with 7 points from 4 games while Kenkre FC moved to third spot on 5 points from 4 games.
Southern Samity began the game cautiously and held firm at the back in the early exchanges. After a few half chances, Southern Samity had a close chances around the 10th minute mark when Basanta Singh’s long range effort was blocked by the rival custodian Avilash Paul.
The visitors, meanwhile, suffered massive a blow fifteen minutes into the game as the talismatic Odafa Okolie went off with an injury and was replaced by Kalu Ogba.
Undeterred by the setback, Southern Samity continued pushing forward and Pankaj Moula almost gave them the lead in the 27th minute but his spectacular shot from edge of the box flew over the bar.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Kenkre FC went ahead against the run of play when Deepak capitalized on a defensive error to put Kenkre ahead at the stroke of half time.
Kenkre FC started the second half how they finished the first as they completely dominated proceedings with a number of attacks. The pressure paid dividend as the hosts doubled their lead in the 53rd minute with Rohit netting on a volley just inside the box.
Having taken a two goal lead, Kenkre FC continued to attack the rival goal and had a couple of close chances midway through the half. First, Rajib Ghorui skied his attempt from close after good work from Assumption Raymond Soares before Sampathkumar Kuttymani had his long range effort saved by the keeper.
Meanwhile, Kenkre FC were reduced to 10-men when their Ivorian forward Yao Kouassi Bernard was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 82nd minute. However, Southern Samity failed to make use of their one-man advantage as Kenkre FC held on for a well-deserved 2-0 win.