In the opening fixture of a historic 128th Durand Cup Sporting Clube de Goa went down fighting to DSK Shivajians 2 – 1 at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. Rohit Kumar (9’) and Kim Song Yong (43’) put DSK ahead in the first half, while Victorino Fernandes (63’) pulled one back for Sporting in the second half.
DSK started off as a more organized unit completing more passes in the initial phase of the match. This quickly paid off in the 9th minute when Juan Quero broke from the right flank to set up Rohit Kumar in a fantastic position who made no mistake putting the ball past Ravi Kumar. Sporting responded quickly with Glan Martins and Victorino Fernandes making some good runs into the DSK box but couldn’t find the nets. In the 13th minute a Cajetan Fernandes free kick went screaming past the nets. For DSK Quero and Kim combined well to create some promising chances at the other end. In the 43rd minute Quero found a loose ball at the edge of the box and send in a powerful shot which hit the post and went straight into the feet of Kim who was never missing that opportunity making it 2 – 0 for the Pune outfit before heading back to the tunnels at half-time.
The second half saw a more determined Sporting who came out to prove a point. Sporting went for the goal right from the kick off with Victorino taking up the responsibility. In the 63rd minute his hard work paid off when he managed to reach at the end of a Seriton Fernandes cross to slot the ball past Rakshit pulling one back for Sporting. In the final quarter it was all Sporting as Cajetan, Victorino, Seriton and Glan got some decent chances but failed to put it past Rakshit who was at the top of his game. In the 75th minute Rakshit denied Seriton with a full length dive saving a sure equaliser for DSK. Towards the final minute Sporting won a free kick at the edge of the box, Glan Martins who stepped up to the occasion send in a curling shot which was denied by the wood work hence assuring DSK held on to the lead, till the very end. Sporting will face Indian Navy in their next fixture on Monday at the same venue.