Durand Cup: Minerva upsets Shivajians

For the second successive match at the Durand Cup, Pool A topper DSK Shivajians slipped at the end to concede a goal and keep its semifinal hopes on hold.

Durand Cup DSK Shivajians Minerva

The Durand Cup encounter appeared to be heading to a draw, which would have all but sealed DSK as the first semifinalist, before Manandeep Singh scored the winner in the 90th.   -  Special arrangement

For the second successive match at the Durand Cup, Pool A topper DSK Shivajians slipped at the end to concede a goal and keep its semifinal hopes on hold. The Pune side lost to Minerva FC 2-1 on Sunday, throwing a lifeline to the Chandigarh-based team that did all the hard work but had to wait till the 90th minute for its reward.

Despite losing a couple of experienced players to injury and playing with 16-year old rookie Shamsher Singh under the bar, it was Minerva that controlled the tempo of the match and created plenty of chances to score. It came close as early as the third minute and kept pressing hard for the lead. A corner headed by Guam international Marcus Lopez in the 24th minute was claimed to have been deflected off a DSK defender’s hand but the referee ruled otherwise. Moinuddin’s rebound shot at an empty goal in the 42nd minute hit the crossbar.

DSK, on the other hand, failed to break past the Minerva defence. It tried to weave through the flanks but could not find an opening as the tall Minerva defenders, marshalled by Jermanjit Singh, took full advantage of their height to thwart the aerial passes. Shamsher proved himself up for the challenge, bringing off some impressive saves off the rare attack that DSK managed to mount. Against the run of the play, Akashdeep Singh brought down DSK’s Korean forward Kim Song Yong inside the box in the 58th minute and conceded a penalty, duly converted by its Spanish playmaker Juan Quero Barraso.

It only made Minerva more desperate to score and its efforts were finally rewarded when Nigerian Lago Dogbo Bei dived to head in the equaliser in the 80th minute. The match appeared to be heading to a draw, which would have all but sealed DSK as the first semifinalist, before Manandeep Singh scored the winner in the 90th.

At the Harbaksh Stadium, former champion Dempo SC thrashed Real Kashmir FC 9-1 in Pool B for its first win in the tournament. Nigerian Felix Odili Chidi scored a hat-trick and Beevan D’Mello scored three as well as the Goan club put up a dominating performance, leading 6-0 at half time. Danish Farooq scored the lone goal for RKFC in the 48th minute.

In the other Pool B match, Neroca FC was held to a 1-1 draw by Indian Air Force.

The results:

Pool A: Minerva FC 2 (Lago Dogbo Bei, Manandeep Singh) bt DSK Shivajians 1 (Juan Quero Barraso).

Pool B: Dempo SC 9 (Felix Odili 3, Beevan D’Mello 3, Mario Mascarenhas, Shallum Pires, Joaquim Abranches) bt RKFC 1 (Danish Farooq); Neroca FC 1 (Sushil Kumar Singh) drew with IAF 1 (Mandeep Singh).

  Dugout videos