Churchill Brothers hold DSK Shivajians to a 1-1 draw at Balewadi

21 January 2017, Balewadi Stadium, Pune: Churchill Brothers record their first points, in the Hero I-League, as they clinch a 1-1 draw away at DSK Shivajians. The home side took the lead in the first-half, on 21 minutes through Korean forward Kim Song Yong, but celebrations were cut short, with approaching full-time, as a late 86 minute header from Adil Ahmed Khan levelled the scoreline.

The home side, DSK Shivajians made no changes to the squad which won 2-0 against Chennai City F.C. at home last time. Whereas, visiting manager Alfred Fernandes made two changes from a 2-0 loss at home to East Bengal in the last game week. Churchill Brothers brought two midfield players in, Kyrgyzstan’s Bektur Talgat Uulu and Under-22 player Chesterpoul Lyngdoh; as both sides lined up in a 4-4-2 formation.

The two teams enjoyed a hatful of good chances in the opening minutes as the match presented an end-to-end display of open attacking football. But Shivajians and Churchill failed to make their opportunities count, in front of goal — as a desperate surge for the opener grew.

The goal arrived, much to the delight of DSK Shivajians, who found an opening goal through Kim Song Yong in the 21st minute. The Korean has scored in two games running, as, on this occasion, Churchill’s left-back was caught ball-watching when Kim Song Yong’s sharpness helped him arrive from blind-side of the defender to put the ball in the net.

As the first-half approached conclusion, DSK Shivajians took a deserved one-goal lead into the second-half. On the opposite end, Churchill Brothers could not make the most of their time, in Shivajians’ final-third. But with neither side giving up, attacking viz., further goals were excepted, in the second-45.

DSK Shivajians grew into the match, creating plenty of chances, in the early stages of the second half. The hosts found acres of space to operate between the Churchill midfield and defence, as the second-half substitute, Sanju Pradhan’s long-range effort nearly brought a second goal.

Manager David Rogers introduced fresh legs post the hour mark, Gouramangi Singh replaced McFaulnin defence. Holicharan Narzary was introduced for Lallianzuala Chhangte 10 minutes later, as DSK Shivajians looked for an important second goal.

As the match entered its final 15 minutes, Churchill Brothers were presented with a golden opportunity to equalise from the spot. In the aftermath of the foul committed by Sanju Pradhan inside the box, referee Pranjal Banerjee gave the visitors a chance to make it 1-1. But the experienced Anthony Wolfe was denied from the spot by Shivajians goalkeeper Soram Anganba, who stretched towards the right to deny the Trinidad and Tobago international to score.

Exactly 10 minutes separated Wolfe’s penalty miss on 76 minutes and Adil Ahmed Khan’s goal in the 86th minute. The visitors introduced their last primitive substitute in Surchandra Singh on 85 minutes, whose first vital contribution was to win a corner which brought the equalising goal; Khan managed to win a front-post header to break DSK Shivajians hearts.

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