The Pune side were stopped in their stride by a solid second half showing from the visitors…
DSK Shivajians were much the better side during the first half of the game, creating multiple chances and taking the lead through North Korean Kim Song-Yong, who scored for the second game running. But the home team will rue their missed chances, after the struggling Churchill Brothers provided a hard working response; coming back level through an astute header from Adil Khan.
Home team manager Dave Rogers went in unchanged from his side’s 2-0 victory against Chennai City FC. Subrata Paul remained unavailable through injury so young Soram Poirei, who’s been excellent so far, remained in goal. Youngsters Milan Singh and Rohit Kumar also retained their spots in the middle of midfield. For the visitors, Kingslee Fernandes and Agnelo Colaco both dropped to the bench in place of U-22 player Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Kyrgyzstan national Bektur Talgat Uulu. Anthony Wolfe and Brandon Fernandes remained up top.
It was DSK who hit the ground running with a threatening counter-attack in the very first minute. The visitors were just about able to get the cross and the following corner clear to safety. Churchill, themsevles had their first big chance in the eighth minute but Rowilson Rodrigues fired over after the ball fell to him from an indirect free-kick.
No.4 Rowilson Rodrigues was in the thick of the action again, as it was his error that cost Churchill Brothers dearly in the 22nd minute. The centre-back’s interception went straight into the path of Kim Son-Yong, who had snuck in behind the defence, to finish off and give DSK the lead.
The home side continued to be the better side, creating multiple wonderful opportunities as the half progressed. In thr 27th minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte turned wonderfully to get one on one with the keeper but the youngster’s shot was parried away brillaintly by Priyant Kumar in goal. Minutes later, it was another youngster Mawihmingthanga who found himself in a good position but couldn’t apply the finish. Kim Song-Yong also threatened to double his tally on the day but his shot rolled wide.
As half time appreached, the Shivajians successfully ensured they went into the break with the advantage.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first. An early attack and corner lead to a couple of shots from Rohit Kumar. Churchill Brothers, who brought in Agnelo Colaco at the break, survived the early onslaught.
DSK failed to finish off the game on more than one ocassion. Churchill defender Adil Khan’s mistake at the back should’ve been finished off by Song-Yong. Moments later, substitute Holicharan Narzary also passed a wonderful oppurtunity by.
The game’s biggest incident came in the 77th minute. Anthony Wolfe had just struck the bar after an erronous pass from Milan Singh had played him through, when Sanju Pradhan conceded a penalty on the edge of the box, much to the dismay of the DSK players. On review, the decision seemed fair. The followning penalty kick was taken by the Trinidad & Tobago striker Anthony Wolfe but it was weak, and subsequently saved by the impressive Soram Poirei.
The breakthrough finally came in the 85th minute for the ever advancing Churchill Brothers. A corner played towards the near post was flicked in by Adil Khan, the visitors’ talismatic centre-back. The goal, just reward for the hardworking Goan side.
Eventually, both sides held out for a draw at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
The draw sees Churchill Brothers reigster their first points of the season, meanwhile DSK can take heart from their performance.