I-League 2016-17, Rd-9: Minerva Punjab FC 0-0 DSK Shivajians

DSFC Staff, February 15, 2017

DSK Shivajians held to an Away draw by Minerva Punjab

In a match devoid of major goal-scoring opportunities, a resolute defensive performance by Minerva Punjab FC held DSK Shivajians to a goalless draw. The draw sees DSK Shivajians stay at sixth position in the league with 10 points from nine games.

With one change to the 11 that started against Shillong Lajong on the 11th, with Sumeet Passi replacing Mawihmingthanga, it took nine minutes for the first chance of the game, where Halicharan Narzary’s long ranger flew inches over the goal. On the 11th minute, Sumeet Passi found himself with what would be the best chance of the game, with a header a yard from goal. The youngster, however, headed the ball inches wide. Five minutes later, a long diagonal found Kim Song-Yong, who headed the ball straight to custodian Arnab Das Sharma. It was Minerva with the next attempt on the 17th minute, with the Punjabi team racking up successive corners against DSK Shivajians. This “purple patch” was however rather short lived, as DSK Shivajians dominated almost the entire of the remaining 25 minutes, with cross after cross in the Minerva Punjab box, but to no avail. Baoringdao Bodo came close for the home side with a shot drilled towards the DSK Shivajians goal on the stroke of the half but both teams went in to the break with honours even, with DSK Shivajians having been the brighter of the two sides.

The Second Half resumed with DSK Shivajians showing greater impetus, earning a corner within the first minute. The Minerva Punjab backline of Kareem Omalaja and Loveday would however, prove to be impenetrable for the home side. Coupled with the ground condition progressively deteriorating, not only was DSK Shivajians’ usual slick short passing affected, but also the wellbeing of their players with Kim Song-Yong and Nirmal Chettri picking up knocks over the course of the half. With a switch in formation, DSK Shivajians pressed hard for the opener but were constantly denied, be it from the center of the park or through either flank. Minerva Punjab put on a defensive show for the ages. With Sairutakima coming close on the 58th minute with a well timed header, Halicharan also found himself in a scoring position on the 71st minute with a well timed run finding Juan Quero’s curling free kick, but again the visitors were frustrated by the hosts who had decided to park the bus. Minerva’s only chance of the half came on the 81st minute when Girik Khosla let fly. Arjuna Award winning goalkeeper and DSK Shivajians Captain Subrata Paul was, however, more than up to the task. As we approached the final whistle, Lallianzuala Chhangte, on for Sumeet Passi had a chance to finally break the deadlock on the 91st minute. In a match where the gods seemed to be smiling on defensive displays, he too was unable to find the back of the net. As the referee blew the full time whistle, it ended goalless, with the home side having held off a DSK Shivajians attacking onslaught for almost the entire 90 minutes.  

DSK Shivajians First Team Manager was happy to come Away with a clean sheet, and credited the team for a strong performance. “To get a point in any away game is a feat and I‘m proud of the boys for keeping a clean sheet. Lately, we’ve conceded late goals which have cost us. This is a tough place to come play, as Minerva (Punjab) have got a great battling team with young players, and we knew it would be tough.”

“Both teams with youth and enthusiasm were trying to play the right way, and it’s another victory for Indian Football with the amount of U22 players in both squads,” he signed off.

DSK Shivajians next play Mohun Bagan on the 18th of February in Kolkata.

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