Delhi United win DSA league
The burden of expectations can make the best falter, but not when it is a professional outfit like Delhi United.
Going into the final of the DLF-Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) Annual Senior Division Football League against Shahdara FC on Tuesday, United – last year’s runners-up – had everything to lose as they were being challenged by first- time finalists Shahdara.
But they once again proved that experience holds the key in pressure- cooker situations as they kept their composure to come from one goal down to beat Shahdara 3-2 when the referee blew the final whistle at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex.
Having started off in attacking mode, United were in for a rude shock when Shahdara scored against the run of play in the 17th minute.
Capitalising on a pin-point long pass from Baljit Singh and some careless defending inside the box, Ifeani headed in much, to the delight of the vociferous crowd, who weren’t really supporting either of the teams but were out to enjoy a good game of football.
But that was just the beginning of the pressure United applied on the Shahdara backline.
They kept them on their toes before finally equalising in the 47th.
With goalkeeper Rakeev Kumar failing to clear an Obed Kamei shot, Francis took advantage of the goal- mouth melee to head in.
United weren’t in the mood to breathe easy. They went for further attacking moves and scored their second goal in the 59th minute when Kamei took advantage of a defensive error to volley over Rakeev and put United ahead.
Calling the shots all over the pitch, United went two goals ahead in the 67th when skipper Rishi Kapur – a household name in Delhi football – scored with a scorcher of a free-kick that Rakeev could only watch in disbelief.
Shahdara did make it 2-3 in the 70th minute when Ifeani scored his second goal of the match, but it was too little, too late as the United defenders tightened the screws and didn’t let Shahdara equalise.
Delhi United won a cash prize of Rs.1,50,000 while runnersup Shahdara FC collected a cheque of Rs.75,000. Semifinalists Tarun Sangha and Garhwal Heroes took home Rs.40,000 each.