After a vicious 7-2 beating at the hands of BK Hacken, the Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Delhi Dynamos' pre-season tour of Sweden seemed to be unravelling the team's deficiencies. However, some semblance of team cohesion and authority have been restored after Roberto Carlos' men beat Skene IF, a Mellersta Götaland (Division three) side, in their third friendly held at the Vavarevallen in Skene, Sweden.
The game was notable for the Dynamos as it saw a Robin Singh, India's number nine, make his debut off the bench for the team from the Capital, who'd drafted him at the ISL's auction. Toni Doblas sat out, after a slight injury in the previous game and this meant Pavan Kumar was the custodian. Anwar Ali, a central defender, Sehnaj Singh, a central midfielder and Vinicius were the only addtions to the side that were pulled apart by Hacken. This meant Florent Malouda, John Arne Riise, Dos Santos and Adil Nabi all made starts from the foreign contingent. Vinicius made his first start for the team too.
The home team took the lead just a few moments after kick-off, as with the continuing trend of Dynamos conceding an early goal. However, the Dynamos rallied to have three quick chances. Vinivius' first attempt at goal came off wonderful play between himself, Malouda and Nabi. Then, just two minutes later, Sehnaj Singh's attempt at goal went just wide of the post. The attack was looking lively as Vinicius' shot, after he came in from the right, was saved low by the keeper.
Nabi in particular looked alert and he alongside Vinicius was looking to open the scoring but found the keeper at the right place at the right time to thwart his attempt. Malouda sent a free-kick well over the bar in the 25th, and Delhi were seemingly with the momentum. Gustavo curled an effort wide in the 31st before Hans Mulder and Souvik Chakrabarthi combined well to see the former have a crack at goal from the box in the 33rd, which went just wide.
However, the drought for the Dynamos was ended in the 39th minute as Nabi found the bottom right hand corner of the net after smartly evading his defender. Then, in the 42nd minute, the Orange Lions nabbed the lead when Malouda's piledriver from 25 yards hit the back of the net. Carlos looked satisfied as his side went into the break a goal to the good.
The second half got off to Nabi and Malouda combinig well to see the former smash the ball wide. Anticipation by Robin Singh was finally relieved as he made his debut after replacing Dos Santos in the 56th minute. Then in the 63rd minute Carlos brought himself on in place of Hans Mulder. A see-saw turn of events then shook the Vavarevallen. First, Carlos' team conceded a soft goal to help Skene draw level on the night in the 65th minute.
But, this preceded Adil Nabi's superb effort in the 67th minute to restore the away team's lead who was assisted by Robin. Carlos had put himself in the middle of the park and his attempts to control play were working well with Serginho Greene, a second half substitute for Sehnaj, who went close in the 80th minute off a headed chance. Ravi Kumar pulled himself into action again with a great save as Skene pushed for an equalizer.
The game ended with small chances heading in the direction of the Dynamos, with Carlos' crossing proving effective. The final score read 3-2 in favour of the Orange Lions, as Carlos' men raked in a much needed morale boosting victory.