DSK Shivajians rode on Spanish import Juan Barraso's brace to defeat JSW Bengaluru FC 2-0 in the ongoing 38th edition of the Hero Federation Cup here at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, to throw open Group B.
A sly goal from the penalty spot in the 71st minute followed by a peach of a goal from a free-kick more than 30 yards out in the 76th minute from Juan Barraso led DSK Shivajians to a hard-fought win over their opponents.
Meanwhile, DSK Shivajian’s win means that three teams out of four find themselves level on points in Group B. While Mohun Bagan still lead Group B with three points out one match and a goal difference of +4, both DSK Shivajians and JSW Bengaluru FC have gathered three points out of two matches played.
DSK Shivajian’s Korean import Kim Song Yong leading the line gave the Bengaluru FC defensive pairing a tough time. Flanked by Lallianzuala and Juan Barraso, Dave Roger’s men utilised the wings in the early minutes, searching for an early goal. In the 9th minute, Lallianzuala connected on a cross from the left flank, but he was flagged offside.
For Bengaluru, the first real chance came in the 19th minute when a corner kick was met by a thumping John Johnson header, only for the DSK to make a goal line clearance. Three minutes later, the Blues had another chance from a set piece after Juan Fernandez’s header flew inches past the DSK goal off a Cameron Watson free-kick.
Bengaluru FC despite dominating possession through the first half and enjoying healthy spells in the final third, could not make much of it. The half-time scoreline read 0-0.
The second half began in a different manner. This time it was JSW Bengaluru FC that attacked early on and DSK custodian Subrata Pal had to make two saves – first from a Eugene shot followed by palming away a corner kick.
Sunil Chhetri in front with Daniel Lalhimpuia while Nishu Kumar gave Bengaluru FC width on the flanks as the Blues adopted an attacking stance. On the other end, however, DSK Shivajians came close to scoring had it not been Ralte’s quick reflexes.
The Bengaluru custodian in the 50th minute palmed away a Lallianzuala cross which was aimed towards Kim’s direction. With no real pressure, Kim would have had a free header if not for Ralte’s quick thinking. Shortly after, Rohit Kumar tried to catch Ralte off his lines, but the former’s shot was misguided.
With neither team fostering any real goal scoring opportunity in the remainder of the time, the match culminated in the midfield where both cancelled each other out. In the 70th minute, DSK were awarded a penalty after Lallianzuala was brought down in the box. A cool finish by Juan Barraso from the spot gave Dave Roger’s men the lead.
In the 76th minute, Barraso scored a screamer from a freekick more than 30 yards out to double DSK’s lead. Dave Rogers and his men held on to the two-goal advantage as the full-time read 2-0.