I-League: Shivajians beat Mumbai to claim maiden win

The win helped DSK Shivajians rise to eighth in the table with four points from five matches. Mumbai FC remains at fourth position with eight points.

Pierre Douhou (10) scored the only goal of the game to give DSK Shivajians its first win of the season.

A resolute DSK Shivajians team tasted its first victory of the season with a 1-0 win over cross-state rivals Mumbai FC in the Hero I-League at the Balewadi Stadium, here today.

Douhou Pierre’s strike on the 21 minute mark proved to be sufficient for the Pune-based outfit. The home side began this crunch encounter by making a total of five changes from the side that was humiliated by the defending champions Mohun Bagan only a week ago.

The win helped DSK Shivajians rise to eighth in the table with four points from five matches. Mumbai FC remains at fourth position with eight points.

Shivajians, against the run of play, had its first big chance of the outset materialize into a goal. In the 20th minute, an exquisite pass from the middle of the park found Douhou Pierre in yards of space. The Ivorian took the ball in his stride and smashed the ball into the net to score Shivajians’ first goal of the season. Moments later, Rafi had another telling opportunity, but his luck was out as the ball flew over the crossbar.

There were few more half chances after the breakthrough, but the score at half-time was 1-0 in favour of the Shivajians. In the second period, the Mumbai side kept most of the possession and was convincing with its forward passes.

Striker Eric Brown almost put Mumbai in the lead, but DSK goalkeeper Subrata Pal made a great save from point-blank range to deny the striker.

The home side had to give away possession and then play on the counter-attack. Much to its delight, Prakash Thorat had a golden opportunity to seal the game in the 65th minute, but rather than squaring it to an unmarked Douhou Pierre, he went for glory and made a mess out of it.

Another golden opportunity fell to the visitor in the 77th minute. Captain Taisuke Matsugae controlled the ball with ease and fired a thundering shot towards Subrata’s goal. The shot beat the goalkeeper and it also beat the goal, and came back off the post.

In the final minutes of the game, Shivajians moved to a rather defensive setup, parking the bus on a number of occasions. The centre-back pairing of Haroon Amiri and Don Bosco Fernandes were alert and agile throughout the course of the game and played a key role in their side’s performance on the day.

Mumbai FC had a number of chances late on, but Shivajians keeper Pal was up to the task whenever called upon and had an exceptional ninety minutes.

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