Dempo end season on winning note

Vasco May 13: Dempo SC ended their I-League campaign on a winning note as they came from behind to register a 2-1 win against Salgaocar FC in the last round match at Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Sunday. The win was Dempo’s first in last ten matches.

It was the Salgacoar team that had taken the lead in the 15th minute of play through the Nigerian striker Gabriel Obatola but within the next five minutes Dempo restored parity through Japanese striker Ryuji Seuoka who converted a spot kick in the 20th minute.

The teams then went in for the break with the score reading 1-1. In the second half when the match was about to end Dempo’s hardworking midfielder Anthony Pereira stunned Salgaocar with a fine strike in the 90th minute that turned out to be the match-winner and helped Dempo SC collect full points.

With this win Dempo SC collected 40 points and stood fifth in the league’s table, while Salgaocar FC, with 33 points, remained on 7th position.

Though both the teams displayed some classic passes but on the whole the proceedings were rather lacklustre. Both the teams had chances to score but they missed to fire accurately even from close distances.

While Gabriel Obatola and Brazilian Josimar da Silva gave some tough time to the Dempo defenders in the first half, Dempo seemed to have taken some time to settle. They however showed their class in the second session with some cohesive moves that kept the Salgaocar defensive line on falling back to guard their citadel.

On the other hand, it was the Salgacoar team that had the major proceedings of the match in their favour and the fact that they managed to score in the first quarter of the match indicated that they meant business.

Collecting a ball on the right flank, Gabriel Obatola proceeded with the ball right into the right corner and then finding a good gap nicely passed the ball to Josimar da Silva who gave no chance at all to the Dempo keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury who was later, in the second session, replaced by Laxmikant Kattimani.

But in the 20th minute of play, Dempo striker Ryuji Sueoka who entered the box with a lot of pace was brought down and the Karnataka referee Andrew Shekar had no hesitation to point to the penalty spot from where Sueoka himself took the shot to beat the Salgaocar keeper Karanjit Singh.

Dempo transformed their match with precise passes in the second half with Climax Lawrence, Peter Carvalho, Clifford Miranda and Anthony Pereira all working in tandem and doing most of the work to hoodwink the strong Salgaocar defence.

On a couple of occasions, Dempo came very close to scoring but somehow they failed to find the mark. Similar was the case with Salgaocar strikers too as they also were not able to score even from very close distances.

As the match seemed to be heading for a draw, Dempo produced a beautiful match winner just at the stroke of 90th minute when substitute Nicolau Borges lobbed the ball to Ryuji Sueoka who in turn then passed the ball to better placed Anthony Pereira who slammed it to the far corner of the Salgaocar nets.