GOA: Fielding a Starting XI comprising of as many as five U-22 players, while handing out a debut to two Academy Graduates over the course of the 90 minutes, DSK Shivajians went down to Churchill Brothers at the Tilak Maidan in Goa.
While Anthony Wolfe opened the scoring in the 63rd minute, Kromah doubled the Goan sides advantage on the 67th minute. In injury time, the Mollick sealed DSK Shivajians fate with a strike on the 94th minute.
Starting off the brighter of the two sides, DSK Shivajians fielded an entirely Indian attacking line with Naro Hari Shrestha, an Indian Youth International being handed his First Start for the First Team. In defence, Lalnunsiama who is a product of the DSK Shivajians Academy, made his first appearance for the side and manned the right side of the flank.
An attack on the First minute of the match spearheaded by Juan Quero signalled the visitors intentions. For the home side, Brandon Fernandez constantly linked up with Ghanefo Kromah and Anthony Wolfe in attack. A brilliant Subrata Paul save denied them the opener on the 22nd minute, an attack which led to a DSK Shivajians resurgence. A counter led to a powerful header by Narzary which drew a brilliant save from Naveen Kumar in the Churchill Brothers goal. With multiple insipid attacks on both goals, the half wore on, ending with the score remaining level.
The second half saw the introduction of Seityasen Singh for Halicharan Narzary, while Pranjal Bhumij, the livewire from Assam made his debut, coming on for Naro Hari Shrestha. The Assamese winger sought to make an impact right away, with a brilliant dribble followed by a 25 yard piledriver which found the crossbar. The very next minute however, Anthony Wolfe broke the DSK Shivajians’ defensive resolve with a well placed shot off a quick counter attack. The Goan side doubled their advantage as the Away side went in search of an equalizer, where Liberian Kromah slot the ball past Subrata Paul, again, on the counter. The 80th minute saw DSK Shivajians come close, with a solid attempt by Jerry find the side netting. Not throwing in the towel just yet, the Pune based sought a comeback with sustained pressure on the Red Machines. It was however, for nought, as a great Surabuddin Mollick strike beat Subrata Paul for the third time on the night to complete a comprehensive victory for Churchill Brothers.
“We were well beaten in the 2nd Half, and the only bright spark for me is our 17 year old Academy Player Pranjal Bhumij who showed absolutely no fear and courage to go on and almost score on his debut with a great strike. The Second Half performance was unacceptable, and the boys know that. We’ll have to work hard on the training pitch when we get back to Pune,” said Dave Rogers on the back of the defeat.
DSK Shivajians will next play Chennai City FC in Chennai on the 5th of March.