Super-sub Gadze powers Dynamos to second spot

The super-sub, who replaced Brazilian forward Gustavo dos Santos in the 74th minute, scored with a fine header to take his team to second spot in the eight-team table with nine points after their third straight win.

Ghanain striker Richard Gadze (left) scored for the second successive game after coming on as a substitute.   -  THE HINDU

This guy has a knack for scoring late winners. For the second successive game, Richard Gadze scored a late goal and this time it helped Delhi Dynamos defeat Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Hero Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday night.

The Dynamos had never won a match against the Blasters in the ISL and just when today’s game appeared to be heading towards another empty draw, substitute Gadze’s lovely header in the 87th minute, off a fine cross from French midfielder Florent Malouda from the right, sent the Dynamos into wild celebration.

The super-sub had replaced Brazilian forward Gustavo dos Santos, Dynamos’ highest scorer last season with five goals, 13 minutes earlier. His winning strike carried the touring side from fifth to the second spot in the eight-team table with nine points after their third straight win.

With their marquee player, Spanish World Cup winner Carlos Marchena, making his Indian debut today and with the arrival of Indian international Cavin Lobo, the Blasters’ passing looked a lot better. Midfielder Lobo and Rahul Bheke, who did a good job from the right, along with Victor Forcada Pulga sent a steady stream of passes into the box but the forwards Chris Dagnall and Manandeep Singh, and later Sanchez Watt, were wayward in their finishing.

The home side’s wing back C.K. Vineeth also came up with some smart runs on the left but he could only shoot straight to the goalkeeper or over the bar.

Roberto Carlos' Dynamos, who went for a 4-4-2 formation against the home team’s regular 5-3-2, were clearly better in the attack.

The game had an explosive start but Robin Singh's attempt from the right was nicely blocked by goalkeeper Bywater in the second minute.

Meanwhile, Dynamos’ Brazilian forward Dos Santos proved to be very dangerous. Early in the game, he ran through the centre, almost getting past the goalkeeper. He tried his luck again on the quarter-hour mark but his effort was pushed away by a diving Bywater. The ball appeared to be dangerously rolling in for a moment, but to the relief of the goalkeeper it went wide. Francis Fernandes had made a smart run through the defence crossing a fine ball for that attempt.

The home side’s forward Dagnall, who took a hard kick on his chin in an earlier march here, suffered a cut from former Norwegian international John Arne Riise’s elbow as he rose for a header. That left Dagnall, who had opened his account with a late goal against Kolkata in the previous game, with a bleeding forehead and he had to receive treatment.

The Blasters’ wing back Rahul Bheke moved up smartly and sent a series of floaters into the box. Manandeep headed one such ball from the left shortly after the half-hour mark and the Dynamos’ goalkeeper Santana had to stretch to tip away the danger.

Meanwhile centre back Ramage proved to be captain courageous, heading away three promising Dynamos crosses from the right.

Just before the break, a Pulga freekick from the left saw Dagnall and Ramage jumping up and Jhingan trying too, but there was nothing to celebrate in the end. The Blasters failed to find their scoring boots and suffered their first home loss of the season.

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