PUNE: DSK Shivajians pulled off a stunning 2-0 win over the title contenders Kingfisher East Bengal at the Balewadi Sports Stadium tonight. The veteran customer Douhou Pierre opened the scoreline and the Spanish playmaker Juan Quero Barrasso nailed the final one in the Red & Golds coffin to seal a monumental win ahead of the cheerful Pune crowd.
An injury-free DSK Shivajians side named three changes to the team that salvaged a draw against Shillong Lajong a week prior. Subrata Pal passed a late fitness test before being given the green signal to take his position between the sticks.
Under-22 player Surchandara Singh was given the nod to start on the right flank, while new signing Sandesh Jhingan made his debut for the Pune outfit, starting in the heart of the defence.
The visitors shuffled their pack, making six changes to the side that was decimated by Salgaocar FC in the previous round. Rehenesh TP, who made a comeback tonight after missing out five matches, would try to forget the night at Balewadi before they take on Aizawl FC in six days. Derrick Pereira went for a traditional 4-4-2 formation, with Douhou Pierre and Pierric Dipanda Dica leading the lines.
East Bengal dominated the early proceedings of the game, switching the ball from one end to another, keeping the Shivajians’ players on their toes.
Despite all the pressure put by the visitors, it was the hosts who drew the first blood in the contest. Just 10 minutes into the game, the Spanish sensation Juan Quero Barrasso played a telling through-ball to captain Dipanda, who took the ball in his stride and went past the defence with ease, squaring the ball to his Pierre, who did no mistake to blast the net and putting his team in the driver’s seat.
As the half grew older, the chances seemed to wither out. A well-organized DSK defence didn’t let the opposition attackers get the better of them.
The score read as 1-0 in favour of the DSK Shivajians at the half-time.
Only moments after the sojourn, the visitors almost found a way back into the game. Substitute Joaquim Abranches fired from 10 yards out but his shot flew inches wide of the post.
The home side doubled their lead in the 66th minute when the Real Madrid academy graduate Juan Quero cut from the left wing and curled home an inch-perfect shot from thirty yards out.
Kingfisher East Bengal piled up the pressure in the dying stages, throwing bodies forward in search of two goals. Subrata Pal, who had been outstanding throughout the ninety minutes, kept out the likes of Ranti Martins and Cavin Lobo.
Sandesh Jhingan also made a noteworthy debut having played a pivotal role to earn their second win in the Hero I-League.
– I-League Media