TRAU FC scored their first win in the 2022-23 I-League season when they blanked Mumbai Kenkre FC 3-0 in a second round tie at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Monday, November 21.
A first-half strike by Nana Poku followed by a double strike by Komron Tursunov in the second half helped TRAU pick up three points with a commanding performance.
The first chance of the game was created by TRAU in the 13th minute – a right-footed cross by Yemdremban Naresh Singh found its way to striker Nana Poku, who failed to control the ball and gave away the opportunity.
TRAU continued to press and allowed no space to Kenkre. In the 20th minute, TRAU’s Tajikistan recruit Komrov Tursunov hit the crossbar after a deflection following a cross by Gerson from the left flank.
After 41 minutes of resilient defending by the visitors, the Red Pythons finally found a breakthrough. An intended shot by Tursunov from the edge of the box found its way to Poku, who had only the goalkeeper to beat. The Ghanaian forward sent Kenkre custodian Padam Chettri the wrong way as he broke the deadlock.
The start of the second half was more of a tussle for the ball in the midfield. Kenkre, however, soon went into offensive but TRAU’s custodian Loitongbam Bishorjit Singh made a couple of crucial saves. Kiran Pandhare’s lob found Azfar Noorani, who unleashed a powerful shot but Bishorjit Singh blocked it with his right foot. Pandhare took a prompt shot off the rebound, but Bishorjit rose to the occasion once again to make a fine save.
In the 75th minute, Gerson passed the ball to Tursunov and the Tajikistan striker launched a screaming right-footer that beat Chettri under the Kenkre goal all ends up.
Three minutes from the full-time whistle, Tursunov’s header towards the goal was partially saved by Bishorjit Singh but the ball deflected off a defender before going in.