Rajasthan United qualified for the I-League for the first time after it played out a goal-less draw with Kenkre FC in the last match of the qualification tournament on Saturday.
Rajasthan topped the I-League Qualifiers final round with seven points from three matches while Kenkre ended at second with five points. It became the first team from Rajasthan to make the I-League.
Only the top team from the I-League Qualifiers gets a slot in the I-League, the country's second-tier club competition.
The match began on a slow tempo as both teams adopted a measured approach to grow into the game gradually. Chances were few and far between in the first half.
As the match progressed, it seemed like both sides were waiting patiently for the other to blink first and make a mistake.
Rajasthan United was nearly punished for its first lapse in concentration in the 28th minute when Gurmukh Singh stepped out of the last line of defence to intercept a pass from Kenkre FC captain Al Azhar.
Gurmukh could not keep the ball in his control as it rolled through to midfielder Pravitto Raju, who had a glorious opportunity to score.
Raju tried to lob the ball over the goalkeeper but he failed.
Kenkre FC came into the second half with renewed vigour and it was a case of now or never for the team from Mumbai, which had to win the game to qualify for the I-League.
In the 60th minute, Kenkre FC striker Ranjeet Singh was played through on goal with a lofted ball over the top of the Rajasthan backline.
However, Ranjeet made the inexplicable choice of attempting to lob goalkeeper Vishal Joon from outside the box and failed to execute his finish.
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