It is ACCOMPLISHED…. For a record fifth time Dempo Sports Club clinched the I-League crown after a pulsating goalless draw against East Bengal at the Nehru Stadium. Needing just a point to clinch the title, Dempo survived anxious moments before securing the one point that was needed to win the League for the record fifth time.
Coach Armando Colaco started with Peter Carvalho in the middle of the park after Densill Theobald was ruled out due to a stomach upset. Rowilson Rodrigues partnered Cresson Antao at the back, Mahesh Gawli taking a place on the bench. The rest of the team remain unchanged.
East Bengalcoach Trevor Morgan put out an attacking line-up in search of a win. Edmilson, Robin Singh and Tolgay Ozbay started as three out and out strikers while Penn Orji, Mehtab Hossain and Harmanjhot Khabra started in the midfield. Uga Okpara’s suspension meant that Raju Gaekwad took his place at centre back along with Gurjinder Kumar while Nirmal Chhetri and Saumik Dey started on the flanks.
Dempo’s first chance came in the 5th minute when a strike by Koko Sakibo just hit the bar and went over. Thereafter the game got cagey with both teams enjoying possession but failing to create clear cut chances. Just before half time Dempo had their hearts in their mouth as a mistake by Cresson Antao saw Tolgay through and he had only the keeper to beat but his shot hit the post and Subhasish collected the rebound. A couple of minutes later there was another scare for Dempo as Tolgay fell inside the box but the referee booked him for diving. In the second half Dempo had a great chance but Ranti’s shot hit the bar.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco was ecstatic after the match and said that Dempo were deserved winners. “My team worked hard for the title. We really wanted to win the title at home. We gelled well as a team”
Chairman Shrinivas Dempo too praised the team and said it was a victory forGoaand for all the well wishers and supporters of the club.