I-League 2017: DSK Shivajians 4-4 Minerva Punjab FC: Spoils shared in eight goal thriller

Minerva Punjab and DSK Shivajians played out a thriller at the Balewadi..

Minerva Punjab pulled out an astonishing fightback to share the spoils with their hosts in Pune, DSK Shivajians, in a season-ending humdinger that read 4-4 on the scoreline.   

It was round 18 of the I-League and both teams were playing their last fixture in this season's domestic top tier competition.

The home side went into this game making five changes. Soirem Anganba, Sasa Kolunija, Shane McFaul, Sanu Pradhan and Jerry Mawihmingthanga were all replaced by Abhishek Das, Sairuat Kima, Vanlalremkima, Kim Seong Yong and Gouramangi Singh.

Minerva kept their lineup refreshments to just four - David Ngaihte, Fanai Lalrempuia, Singh and Manandeep all sat this fixture out, while Moinuddin, Kamalpreet Singh, S. Das and Sangwan all made it to the starting XI.

The start couldn't have been worse for the away side, who conceded with the clock reading just 10 minutes. Kim Seong Yong beat the offside trap to sweep home a cute finish, into the bottom left corner. 

Minerva's porous defence had trouble holding the DSK Shivajains' attack in check with chances falling to Lallianzuala Chhangte, Juan Quero and Kim Seong Yong throughout the half. 

The lead would eventually be doubled by Kim, who rounded the keeper and guided a ball home. 2-0 would become 3-0 in the flicker, when Juan Quero cut infield from the left and let ip a stunner into the top corner of the Minerva goal.

Half-time beckoned with the Shivajians enjoying a three-goal buffer.

The first signs of a comeback by Minerva Punjab surfaced in the 46th minute when Khosla won and converted his penalty, gifted to him by Gouramangi Singh. Chhangte sped through on goal only to see his effort saved by the legs of Arshdeep, who came sweeping out. 

3-1 became 3-2 just 20 minutes later, when Victor Amobi's run into the box saw him glide the ball to Khosla, who scored his second of the evening with a neat finish into the bottom corner. 

A chance of any comeback seemed to evaporate when Vanlalremkima added his first and DSK Shivajians' fourth onto the scoresheet.  

Arshdeep rushed out to nullify a quick dart into the box by Chettri but the right-back dinked the ball over the keeper. Though the initial effort was saved, the rebound was finished coolly by the DSK number 23. 

However, proceedings soon took a tumble for the worse for the hosts. First, Amobi scored the third goal for the away side, when he latched onto a cross that Das and Kima in DSK's defense missed. A cool and composed finish resulted in the Punjab-based side have their spirits raised. 

Then in the 94th minute, they found the missing goal. With, quite literally the last kick of the game, a lofted pass into the box was controlled by Simranjeet Singh. DSK's offside trap failed miserably, as the Minerva number 11, first controlled well and then was left with the cheekiest of finishes to level his team on the scoreline, past a hapless Das. 

Disbelief and pandemonium struck the Blues' dug-out who could scarcely believe the pugnacious effort of their players in a memorable comeback. 

It ended as an affair to remember for both these teams as their final bout in this seasons I-League. DSK end the season tentatively in 7th, while Minerva move up to the ninth spot. 

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