Gritty DSK Shivajians end Mumbai FC’s unbeaten run

DSK Shivajians registered their first win of the 2016 Hero I-League campaign with a hard fought 1-0 win over local rivals Mumbai FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex stadium in Pune on Sunday evening. A first half strike from Dohou Pierre proved enough for the home side as they inflicted the first loss of the season on Mumbai FC.

Khalid Jamil made two changes to the Mumbai FC side that beat Bengaluru FC. Shrikanth Ramu came in for Clyde Fernandes, while Malemnganba Metei replaced Jayesh Rane who was away on international duty.

Derrick Pereira made five changes to the DSK Shivajians side that lost to Mohun Bagan as Don Bosco Fernandes, Israil Gurung, Surchandra Singh, Prakash Thorat and Shrikant Molangiri were included into the starting eleven.

The first ten minutes were a bit scrappy as neither side could establish a hold on the game, despite the visitors seeing more of the ball. Eventually it was the home side who has the first sight of goal when Zohib Amiri fired a header from a Dohou Pierre cross over the target in the 10th minute of the game.

Mumbai FC got some kind of rhythm into their play post the fifteen-minute mark and a brilliant one-two between Ryuki Kozawa and Arata Izumi saw the latter go clean through on goal, only for the experienced Subrata Pal to thwart his vicious effort away from goal. Within seconds of Subrata’s save, DSK Shivajians produced a blistering counter-attack that led to the opening goal as Douhou Pierre outmuscled a Mumbai FC defender to score past Pawan Kumar in the 20th minute. Pierre’s goal was DSK’s first goal of the season and that had the local fans on their feet.

Mumbai FC who were slightly rattled after falling behind, had Pawan Kumar to thank for denying DSK their second goal as he brilliantly tipped over Mohammed Rafi’s shot after the former Mumbai FC player had managed to get behind the Mumbai FC defence, before creating the space for the shot.

The visitors gathered their concentration after the half hour mark and seized control of the ball as the hosts seemed pretty contained in sitting deep in their own half and denying Mumbai FC the space to play.

DSK Shivajians were nearly gifted a second in the final minute of the first half after Shrikanth Ramu’s loose touch almost saw the ball fall kindly to Douhou Pierre, but for Shrikanth’s recovery tackle that denied Dohou the space to find the target.

DSK Shivajians went into the break with their noses in front after managing to frustrate Khalid Jamil’s men for most parts of the half.

Mumbai FC started the second half on the front foot and had a great chance to level the scores when midfielder Eric Brown was slid in on goal in the 60th minute, but Brown’s low effort was splendidly kept out by Subrata Pal’s outstretched legs as Mumbai FC had nothing to show for their dominance in the game.

A sloppy piece of play in the 65th minute almost cost Mumbai FC as their ex-player Mohammed Rafi who had all the time in the world to pick out team-mate Prakash Thorat who was free in front of goal, did them a favour by choosing to shoot allowing Pratik Chaudhary to block his effort.

DSK Shivajians were very nearly made to pay for that missed opportunity when Taisuke’s shot after a brilliant turn on the edge of the box came off the upright in the 76th minute. Khalid Jamil made a double change with ten minutes left on the clock as N.P. Pradeep and Asif Kottayil came on for Ashutosh Mehta and Ryuki Kozawa.

Mumbai FC put DSK Shivajians under a lot of pressure in the dying minutes of the game as they threw the kitchen sink at the debutants. But a stubborn DSK Shivajians held on to record their first ever win in the I-League.

The win ended Mumbai FC’s eleven game unbeaten run as Khalid Jamil’s men failed to close the gap on leaders Bengaluru FC who too fell to a defeat earlier in the week.

But it was an occasion to remember for DSK Shivajians who would now look to build their campaign on this special success against their local rivals.


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