Brazilian Roberto Mendes Silva, popularly known as Beto , turned hero for the Dempo fans as he helped his team to win 1-3 in a crucial encounter against hosts East Bengal in the round 5 match of Airtel I-League played at Kalyani.
Dempo SC, who dominated the proceedings, made their intensions very clear in the 2nd minute itself when Beto earned a free kick just outside the penalty area. Dempo pressed the east Bengal defence on the back foot as their central midfield duo of Uga Okpara and Arnab Mondal appeared to be out of sync. Clifford Miranda took full advantage of the gaps in between EB’s central defenders as he slotted home the first goal in the 3rd minute from a Billy Mehmet pass.
Shattered by an early goal, East Bengal tried their level best to regroup their defence. They were lucky on a couple of occasions when Jeje’s powerful shooter sailed over the cross bar and Clifford Miranda failed to connect Billy Mehmet pass from the far right.
East Bengals afternoon took a turn for the worse when prolific Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi failed to score from a penalty. In an aerial attempt to clear, Samir Naik accidently handled the ball inside the penalty area to which referee Pratap Singh quickly signalled for the spot kick. Hounded by a vociferous crowd behind the goal post, Chidi lost his concentration and hit the ball away from he goal post. Marcos Falopa’s worries compounded when Peter Carvalho and Beto came agonisingly close to scoring in the 39th and 43rd minute.
Beto got his name on the score sheet shortly after the first half turning home Clifford Miranda’s corner. Arthur Papas successfully placed the midfield in a dominating position where chances were coming in fewer numbers for the EB strikers. In one such move, Jeje Lalpekhlua set up Joy Ferrao for a one on one with the EB goalkeeper but the latter was bought down inside the penalty area by Uga Okpara who was already on a yellow card. Subsequently Uga was given the marching orders and Dempo were awarded a penalty which Beto gleefully converted.
Despite a lot of pressure late on, East Bengal could not claw their way back into the match. Their only consolation goal was scored by substitute Baljit Singh in the 84th minute.
Dempo have earned 6 points from 5 matches and will now travel to Bangalore to face Bengaluru FC on 23rd October.