In a bottom-half match-up, DSK Shivajians took to the road in search of a second consecutive win but were held to a draw by Salgaocar. After both sides scored a goal apiece within five minutes of each other in the first half, an eventful but fruitless second half saw the teams share the spoils.
After the international break, the 14th round of matches in the I-League got underway at the Tilak Maidan in Goa, with sixth-placed Salgaocar taking on 8th placed DSK Shivajians. The home side went into the match with a three-match unbeaten streak after defeating East Bengal, Shillong and earning a draw against Mumbai FC in their last three matches.
DSK looked dangerous from the start with Juan Quero bombing in crosses, but unfortunately the Spaniard’s cross found nobody in the box to roll away harmlessly. What Quero couldn’t do, Amiri did by landing a freekick on his teammate’s head in the 9th minute, but Sandesh Jhingan couldn’t knock it down for a teammate. After the initial DSK pressure, Salgaocar started to claw their way back, and in the space of 3 minutes, Gilbert, Alesh and Gurjinder tested DSK keeper Subrata.
In the 22nd minute, Baljit let one fly but the home side was alert to the danger and blocked the shot out for a corner. But Baljit wasn’t one to go away. After Amiri dribbled past Salgaocar defender Gurjinder and put a perfect ball in, Baljit was at hand to slot home the opener in the 25th minute. But the Pune side’s lead lasted for barely five minutes. In the 30th minute, Jackichand Singh found Duffy at the other end, and the Scot finishing it neatly to even the proceedings.
The goal slowed the game down, and the play became passive as the two teams waited for half-time. But just before the whistle, Amiri sparked into life and made a delicious cross, only for Baljit’s diving header to fly over the bar. The two teams went into the break level.
The second half started frantically. First, Surchandra and Kalvin clashed mid-air and needed physios to recover. Then, Sandesh’s overhead kick flew wide off the mark in the 50th minute. One minute later Jackichand missed a glorious opportunity at the other end after a counter attack saw him through on goal. Another two minutes later, Sandesh’s header was cleared off the line. Duffy again went close with the resulting counter in the next minute. The pace of the game started to rocket and as the game oscillated from end to end, a goal seemed inevitable. And when the ball hit Lenny’s hand in the box, Dipanda had the opportunity to do just that from the spot. But Karanjit stayed brave and diving to his left, palmed away the penalty to keep Salgaocar in the game.
At the other end, Jackichand started to come to life, and his combinations with Duffy kept the DSK defence on their toes. The Indian winger produced some cracking crosses, but Subrata was upto the task each time. Duffy finally put the ball in the back of the net in the 67th minute, only to be flagged offside, much to the dismay of the home support.
As the overwrought first 20 minutes of the half cooled down, both the managers made changes to cool the other’s momentum. Out went Calvin and Milan, with Semboi and Sampath Kuttymani replacing them respectively. The changes had their desired effect, and the sting in the game evaporated almost instantly. One Seityasen attempt apart, not much happened till the final whistle, and the game ended 1-1, much to the dismay of both sides.
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