ISL: Dias rules as Dynamos win at home
The 30-year-old used the right flank to rule the pitch, and effectively blew away the Chennaiyin FC backline with his laser-guided crosses. That Chennaiyin’s three-man central defence comprised illustrious names like Mikael Silvestre and Bernard Mendy hardly mattered to him.sports Updated: Oct 26, 2014 09:07 IST
On May 12, 2013 as Churchill Brothers clinched the I-League title, Mumbai-born Steven Dias experienced the best of days Indian club football could offer. Much of the credit went to the magical legs of Churchill star Beto, but a title certainly would not harm a player’s hopes of returning to the national side.
It was that hope and desire to play a key role in a hometown club that took Dias to Mumbai Tigers. What welcomed him, however, was the worst the game can offer this side of the world.
With the country’s football relishing the buzz the Indian Super League is dishing out, most fans may forget, at least for two months, the sorry state, especially on the financial side, of the clubs here. But when a national league winner (read Dias) realised that his new club (Mumbai Tigers) had shut shop, it left him in a quagmire.
If marketing and eyeballs that the ISL brings, helps the game, then Dias has embraced that as well. From the oblivion of a few matches on loan, Dias — now donning the Delhi Dynamos’ orange jersey and featuring in the same side as Alessandro del Piero — rose like a Phoenix.
The 30-year-old used the right flank to rule the pitch, and effectively blew away the Chennaiyin FC backline with his laser-guided crosses. That Chennaiyin’s three-man central defence comprised illustrious names like Mikael Silvestre and Bernard Mendy hardly mattered to him. He was there to beat them all. In the 21st minute, already enjoying the leg-up Wim Raymaeker’s early goal gave the hosts, Dias sent in a ball towards the goalmouth with his right foot. Dynamos’ striker Mads Junker’s diving header was an icing on the cake. It was not the first occasion Dias had split the Chennaiyin defence and certainly wasn’t the last as the Dynamos romped to a 4-1 victory — their first win.
More beautiful goals
Dynamos’ first match at JLN was a goalless draw against FC Pune City. However, the first weekend match at home was certainly blessed with goals, three of them of impeccable quality. Raymaekers’ curling shot to open the floodgates in the first minute, off a short corner, was a delight to watch. But the following goals — Junker’s diving header off Dias, Elano’s free-kick (69th min) for Chennaiyin and the late goal by dos Santos, could each get into the best goals of the ISL list.
The precursor to Bruno Herrero’s 79th minute goal from the spotkick was also not a bad one. The only sad part was the array of empty blue bucket seats during those moments.