PUNE: The last league game of the season saw DSK Shivajians play out an I-League classic against Minerva Punjab FC, one which ended with four goals scored at both ends. With the game finishing at 4-4, big North Korean striker Kim Song Yong scored twice, while Juan Quero and debutant Vanlalremkima scored for the home side. At the other end, Girik Khosla scored twice while Victor Amobi and Simranjeet Singh levelled the score at the death.
A change in goal and on the touchline saw Abhishek Das earn a debut, while Assistant Manager John Andrews took over from Dave Rogers at the helm, with the Englishman unavailable due to illness.
A confident start saw DSK Shivajians dominate proceedings, and open the scoring fairly early on with Kim Song Yong on the 11th minute. The big North Korean striker beat the offside trap to put it past an unprotected Arshdeep Singh in the Minerva goal. The I-League winning striker could have had a goal as early as the sixth minute, however, if not for the aforementioned custodian. Lallianzuala Chhangte could have doubled the advantage moments later, with his shot going inches wide off the post with the keeper beaten. DSK Shivajians did not, however, have to wait too long to double their lead with Kim Song Yong rounding off the Minerva defense and goalkeeper to put the ball into an empty net. The captain Juan Quero scored his third of the season moments later from the edge of the box to put DSK Shivajians three nil up before Half Time. A dominant display, DSK Shivajians went into the break the more satisfied of the two sides.
The second half began with DSK Shivajians poised to dominate possession once again, but it was not to be. Girik Mahesh Khosla found himself presented with the opportunity to scored from the spot, one for which he willingly obliged. The penalty itself was awarded due to the Old-Warhorse Gouramangi Singh allegedly having handled the ball inside the box. With Narzary and Chhangte coming close, it was the Punjabi lad Khosla who doubled his and Minerva’s tally on the 66th minute off a quick counter attack. Down 3-2, Minerva’s attempts at staging a comeback were seemingly put to rest by Vanlalremkima who found capitalised on a loose ball inside the box in the 79th minute to double his side’s advantage. Victor Amobi was to, however play party pooper for the DSK Shivajians capitalising on a similar defensive lapse at the other end. With Minerva Punjab trailing 4-3, with ten minutes to go, both sides had their work cut out for the final ten minutes. While Seityasen Singh came close, producing a world class save by Arshdeep Singh, it was Simranjeet Singh who rained on the DSK Shivajians’ parade, scoring with what was virtually the last kick of the game. The match ended all square, at 4-4, giving the spectators a treat on the last day of the season.
“The first half was terrific. The boys gave their best and that’s what Dave and I had asked off them. The Second Half saw us dropping off, and we weren’t the DSK Shivajians of the previous 16 games of the league,” said John Andrews – Assistant Manager DSK Shivajians.
DSK Shivajians end the I-League 2017 at 7th place with 18 points off as many games.