A Peter Carvalho strike into injury time rescued a point for Dempo Sports Club in their match against ONGC on Sunday at Duler Stadium. Dempo trailed the Oilmen for most period of the game until the final few minutes when substitute Peter Carvalho struck home from close range.
It looked like it was one of those days for the defending champions when thy created a host of chances but the ball just refused to go inside the net. Coach Armando Colaco started with one change from the side that thrashed United Sikkim FC 7-0 in the last game. Clifford Miranda was out with a hamstring injury and Nicolau Borges took his place on the left. To make matters worse, left back Debabrata Roy suffered an ankle injury fifteen minutes into the first half and had to be replaced by Samir Naik.
Dempo had a fair share of possession early on with Godwin Franco testing the keeper a couple of times early on with long range efforts. Dempo though fell behind in the 37th minute after formerIndia midfielder and veteran Jatin Singh Bisht saw his glancing header off an Eric Brown free-kick enter the net past a stunned Dempo keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury. Dempo upped the tempo after falling behind with Anthony Pereira being at the heart of both the moves. First his glancing header off a Valeriano Rebello cross went just wide and at the stroke of half time his beautiful curling free kick went just inches past the upright.
In the second session Dempo showed urgency right from the word go. The defending champions dominated possession but fluttered away their chances- Climax Lawrence and Joaquim Abranches being the guilty party on more than one occasion. Armando Colaco then brought in Peter Carvalho for Anthony Pereira and Johnny Menyongar for Koko sakibo. The two substitutions brought a breath of freshness to the Dempo midfield. Deep into injury time, Dempo fans heaved a sigh of relief after Peter Carvalho tapped in from close range to gain valuable point for the defending champions. Santosh Kashyap’s men nearly stole it at the end though Saharbuddin Mollick’s volley which crashed into the cross bar.
“It has been an excellent effort from the boys and three points would have been better than the draw. The referees are the real concern. That was certainly a goal. Every coach is having a problem against the referees. That means there is something wrong,” Kashyap said at the post match press briefing.
Meanwhile, Dempo coach Armando Colaco admitted that he was relieved after the last minute equaliser. Without taking anything away from the players, Colaco explained the conditions he has to work in, amidst injury woes.
“I am relieved. The beauty is that the boys are working hard. ONGC played well and so did we. May be no one deserved to lose today and finally football was the winner,” Colaco said.
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