Dempo SC scored a 3-0 victory over Neroca FC at Nehru stadium that sent them five points clear at the top of the Second Division I-League business round at Fatorda on Satruday.
Neroca FC, who earlier defeated the Goan outfit 2-0 in Imphal, struggled from the start, as the Goan outfit showed their composure infront of their home crowd and scored three through Felix Chidi, Shallum Pires and Peter Carvalho while Mandar Rao Dessai provided all the three assists.
Felix Chidi Odili opened the scoring for the Golden Eagles with his second goal in 5 matches by redirecting Mandar Rao’s cross from the left flank in the 41st minute, giving a much-deserved lead to the home team at the break.
After dominating the opening quarter, Dempo SC had the chance to take the lead in the 11th minute, however Uttam’s effort from the box hit the post. Much to his dismay, Uttam had to leave the pitch after receiving a knock and was replaced by Holicharan Narzary.
Felix Chidi had two glorious chances before he scored the team’s first goal. In 25th minute, on receiving a perfect lay-off from Germanpreeth the former shot straight to the keeper. His second chance came in the 30thminute, when he failed to reach Holicharan Narzary’s low cross right infront of the goal.
At the other end, Neroca had a rare opportunity wherein Yumnm Raju’s shot straight was easily collected by Kattimani. Neroca’s Thomas Singh and Ejiogu did well upfront but they couldn’t beat the inform combo of Chika-Ali.
In the 41st minute, Felix made amends to his previous misses and scored the lead with a simple tap off Mandar’s assist.
Post resumption, Neroca has the first chance in the 52nd minute but Y Meetei’s low shot was way off target.
Dempo doubled the lead in the 60th minute when Shallum Pires rose above all to guide Mandar’s free kick. The second goal lifted the Golden Eagles morale even more as they pressed in search of goals. However, Neroca keeper Thokchom Singh pulled of three stunning saves to deny Felix, Romeo and Holicharan.
Dempo SC Germanpreeth, Jewell Raja, Mandar , Romeo and Holicharan were outstanding in the midfield as their experience helped the team to create numerous chances and keep the opponents at bay.
Neroca coach Gift Raickhan brought in Sushant Mathew in the second half but the latter couldn’t create any impact for his team.
In the 90th minute, substitute Peter Carvalho scored the third off another Mandar’s corner.
In the injury time, Beevan D’Mello on receiving a pass from Holicharan dribbled past couple of Neroca defenders and shot wide with only keeper at this mercy.