Dominant DSK Shivajians held by leaders Mohun Bagan to a goalless draw
New Delhi[India], Jan. 24(ANI): A tactical masterclass by DSK Shivajians saw the Pune based Football Club dominate table toppers Mohun Bagan in what was arguably the side's best performance of the season.
While both teams hit the woodwork over the course of the game, DSK Shivajians also had a goal disallowed.
The match however, ended all square.
DSK Shivajians made their intentions known right from the onset, almost scoring within the first 20 seconds.
While Kim Song Yong's shot went inches wide of the goal, a grinning Dave Rogers on the touchline had made his side's intentions known.
Mohun Bagan responded by feeding the ball to Sony Norde on every given occasion. Nirmal Chettri, martialling the right side of the DSK Shivajians defence was however to be found in inspired form, constantly frustrating Mohun Bagan's talismanic striker.
The first real chance for Mohun Bagan was to come, not of a piece of attacking brilliance but a mistake by the Home Side's custodian Soram Poirei, almost capitalised upon by Bikramjit Singh.
The ongoing duel between Nirmal Chettri and Sony Norde too, was in full flow, with the Haitian international resigned to crossing the ball into the box whenever he came up against his Sikkimese opponent.
His attempted target Darryl Duffy, closely marked by a combination of Serbian Sasha and experienced warhorse Gouramangi Singh never seemed to receive the ball.
As the game progressed, it was the home team with Kim Song Yong who had scored twice in the two games leading up to this causing all sorts of problems.
It was on the 38th minute however that the big North Korean striker set himself up for the best chance of the game.
Cutting past the Green and Maroon Brigade's defence, he curled the ball past the onrushing Debjit Majumdar.
Tantalisingly close, his shot was to hit the post. A Free Kick on the stroke of Half Time gave Mohun Bagan a chance to go in to the break ahead, but it was for naught.
The Second Half started in much the same fashion as the first half with DSK Shivajians attacking the league leaders with everything they had.
With two corners in the first 10 minutes of the Half, substitute Lallianzuala Chhangte came close to breaking the deadlock on the 52nd minute.
His shot did however, go wide. It was off a corner that DSK Shivajians had a goal disallowed. Sasha Kolunija's header which found the back of the net was not to stand, with the referee adjudging the 6 foot 5 inch Serbian to have fouled a Mohun Bagan defender in reaching the ball.
It was only after 20 minutes of apparent inactivity in the Second Half that the visiting attack finally got going.
While Sony Norde, apparently frustrated with his inability to get past Nirmal Chettri switched sides, he finally started combining with Jeje to produce a brilliant low save from Soram Poirei on the 70th minute.
Subhashish Bose was the next Mohun Bagan player to have a go, with the Punjabi midfielder hitting the post after a great turn and volley that left Soram Poirei stranded.
The Manipuri keeper was however up to the next shot when he was able to fend off a Katsumi Yusa shot from point blank range on the 78th minute.
This was to be the last clear cut chance of the game, with both sides engaged in a midfield battle for the remainder of the half.
A last gasp attempt by Kim Song Yong came to nothing, with the match producing one of the most exciting stalemates in recent times.
Dave Rogers full of praise for his team, applauded the spirit of his side and said, "From the first kick off, we were the dominant team. It feels like a defeat, to be honest. The boys have run around, they've battled and outplayed a really good team. With a little bit of luck, we would've won the game. We scored what I believe was a great goal from a set-piece, only the referee knows why he has disallowed it."
"Have a look at the young boys who've come up against one of the most experienced teams in the I-League, they didn't look out of place at all. I'm very proud of them and we are getting better day-by-day, week-by-week. We'll recover now and be ready for the next challenge," he added.
The DSK Shivajians next play Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on the February 1.(ANI)