DSK Shivajians FC played out a six-goal thriller with Indian Navy and shared a point in the 128th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi on Friday. The result brightened debutants DSK Shivajians chances of making the semifinals….
A last gasp injury-time goal by the spirited Navy team cancelled the bulldozing comeback made by debutants DSK Shivajians who found themselves in arrears by an early goal.
DSK Shivajians had Rohit Kumar (36th minute), Arif Shaikh (45th) and Juan Quero (46th) account for their tally while Wayne Vaz (3rd), Hardik Kanojiya (60th) and Md. Irshad (90+3′) found the net for Indian Navy.
The result of this Group-A clash took DSK Shivajians points tally to 7 from three matches and thus in line for a berth in the last-4. Indian Navy has 6 points (4 matches), while Army Green has 4 points (2 matches).
Manager Dave Rogers made five changes to the playing eleven that played the previous encounter. Custodian Rakshit Dagar, Zohmingliana Ralte and Juan Quero who played the first match against Sporting clube were back, while Sairuat Kima and Surachandra Singh were handed their first playing eleven starts respectively, making way was the injured Gagandeep Singh, ‘keeper Sayak Barai, Lalnunsiama, Kim Song-Yong and Mohamed Sajid Dhot.
The captain’s arm band was worn by Spanish winger Juan Quero.
DSK Shivajians suffered an early setback when striker Wayne Vaz gave Indian Navy the lead in the third minute. A defensive error in the box after a short corner was crossed in at the near post allowed Wayne to capitalize and slot home for the opener.
Despite conceding early on, DSK Shivajians regained their composure and began pushing up. After numerous attacks which fell just short in the opening quarter, Manager Dave Rogers rung in the first tactical change bringing in North Korean striker Kim Song Yong for defender Shane McFaul in the 21st minute.
The constant pressure finally paid off as in-form LFC-DSK Academy graduate Rohit Kumar found the equalizer for DSK Shivajians in the 36th minute. The lanky attacker headed home on K. Lalthathanga’s corner kick for his fourth goal in three games after some good work from striker Kim and playmaker Quero earned the set-piece.
The goal gave DSK Shivajians a much needed confidence boost and they capitalized on the momentum by taking the lead on the stroke of half time. Striker Arif Shaikh created space after a quick one-two with Quero on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot past the Indian Navy custodian.
DSK Shivajians started the second half just like they ended the first – with a goal. Skipper Juan Quero got in the act as he began the move down the middle sending striker Arif clear in the box. The youngster got into space before pulling back for Quero to slot home with ease and make it 3-1 in favour of DSK Shivajians.
While the Pune-side was dominating proceedings, Indian Navy managed to reduce the deficit at the other end at the hour mark. Attacker Hardik Kanojiya controlled a long ball on the edge of the box and took a shot which took a wicked deflection past keeper Rakshit Dagar in the DSK Shivajians’ goal.
Just as it looked like DSK Shivajians would close out the game 3-2, Indian Navy equalized with the last kick of the ball. Having conceded a freekick down outside the box in the third minute of injury time, the DSK Shivajians’ backline failed to clear the danger and Ex-Shivajians striker Mohd. Irshad capitalized to head home the equalizer and end the game 3-3.
DSK Shivajians will now play Minerva FC on 4th September at the Ambedkar Stadium.