By I-League Media

PUNE: An impressive late fight-back from the DSK Shivajians proved to be less fruitful as they went down fighting against Salgaocar FC in the Round 8 encounter of the ongoing Hero I-League at the Balewadi Sports Complex today.
Second-half substitute Aser Pierric Dipanda scored an impressive brace for the Shivajians, but it did not manage to affect the scoreline. For Salgaocar FC, Darryl Duffy scored two goals, while Thongkhoseim Haokip grabbed one in the first half.

Plagued with a number of injuries, DSK Shivajians made a total of six changes to the side that was humbled in Bengaluru. The key players missing out were goalkeeper Subrata Pal and defender Zakir Mundampara. For the Goan outfit, key player Jackichand Singh passed a late fitness test and was named among the substitutes. It was Jacki’s ball that eventually won his side the match.

The game began with the home side having the lion’s share of the ball. Playing on the front foot, the wingers entertained the Shivajians faithful with blistering pace on either flank.

Their go-to man in attack Douhou Pierre combined well with the new signing Juan Quero Barraso. Pierre had his shot narrowly deflected wide for a corner in the 7th minute. The Ivorian saw another attempt go begging in the 18th minute as the Salgaocar side were offering a lot of resistance at the back.

Salgaocar came to the life in the 32nd minute of the contest. Striker Calvin Mbarga received an exquisite cross played by Keenan Almeida and his header flew inches over the bar.

DSK Shivajians keeper Prosenjit Ghosh survived an early scare. Mbarga came close to scoring a couple of minutes later, but Ghosh was up to the task and made a brilliant save to his left to keep out the Salgaocar talisman.
In the 39th minute, a good corner-taking drill saw Thongkhoseim Haokip’s header beat the Shivajians’ goalkeeper eventually.

Martin Scott was the one who drove in the corner while Darryl Duffy niggled the ball into the path of Haokip. Salgaocar held on the one goal lead until the break.

With only two minutes into the second half, Haokip played a cross from the right wing and Darryl Duffy calmly slotted the ball home to double the Green’s lead.

The side kept pushing for a third goal with the DSK side playing on the backfoot. An array of chances fell to the visitors during the 54th and 56th minutes of the game, but they failed to put another past Ghosh.

At the hour mark, the home side were handed a pathway back into the game due to some disastrous defending by the Salgaocar defenders. The ball fell to the feet of Baljit Sahni, but he failed to convert from 4 yards out.

Pierre was given a second bite at the cherry, but he hammered the ball into the stands with the score remaining unchanged.

In the 69th minute, the visitors put the result beyond any doubt, adding a third nail to the DSK coffin. Last season’s Hero I-League player of the year, Jackichand Singh curled in a free-kick to an unmarked Darryl Duffy who jumped higher than the Shivajians defence to head in his second goal tonight. The home team were shell-shocked while the Goan side were en route to celebrate their first win of this season.

Baljit Sahni who hadn’t had the best of games was brought down in the opposition penalty box in the 75th minute, handing a vital penalty to the home side. Aser Pierric Dipanda stepped up and calmly converted the spot kick to pull one back for the DSK Shivajians.

Dipanda added another one in the 80th-minute from a corner. This quick double from the number 9 gave the Shivajians a fighting chance, and hopes of a comeback were beginning to grow among the 1500 odd fans at the Balewadi Sports Complex.

There were few chances late on for the Shivajians, but Santosh Kashyap’s men held on for the narrow victory. With this result, Salgaocar FC move up a spot to eighth place, while Shivajians are rooted to the bottom with only 4 points from 7 matches.