Indian Navy defeated Delhi FC 2-1 in their opening match of the Durand Cup football tournament at the Mohun Bagan ground here in Kolkata on Wednesday. (More Football News)
Defender Dalraj Singh scored the winner late in the second half off a header from a corner kick.
Trinidadian Willis Plaza had put the Delhi side ahead in the 21st minute before Indian Navy got the equaliser through Shreyas four minutes later.
Plaza got at the end of a floating ball inside the box after an attacking move by Reinreithan Shaiza and Dawda Cessay in the 21st minute to drive it past the Navy keeper Bhaskar Roy.
Indian Navy hit back almost immediately when a cross from the right by Nihal Sudeesh saw Shreyas, who had a fantastic game overall, swoop in between Delhi defenders inside the six-yard box for a clinical finish.
The goal boosted the Navy side and coach Abhilash Nair also affected changes, bringing in Sarabjit Singh for Jijo in midfield.
Plaza, however, did get a golden chance to put Delhi FC back ahead just before half-time, but his shot from close range was thwarted by keeper Roy.
The second-half did not rise to the competitive levels of the first for most parts before Dalraj ensured a grand stand finish. Rising above the crowd off a Navy corner in the 86th minute, he blasted a header past a hapless Manvir Singh in the Delhi goal.
Speaking after the game, Dalraj credited coach Abhilash Nair's planning for the win.
"The coach used to make us practice these set-pieces all the time and also told us how to play in short-passes given they had deep back-four. I think following his plans helped and we got the result," said Dalraj.
Nair, on the other hand, said, "I am very happy because our boys played to the plan and followed all instructions which is why we got the result despite losing two players to injury at the last moment. We will look to win all games.”
Delhi FC head coach Yan Law was understandably disappointed.
"We have tough games against ISL sides Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters coming up and we need to definitely improve in all departments if we have to get the results our way," he said.