Nov 24: Dempo Sports Club rued on their missed chances as United Sports Club, Kolkata overcame the challenge and cruised away to a 1-2 away victory in the round 10 match of I-League 2013-14 played at Duler stadium on Saturday.
United’s Liberian player Eric Brown put in a clinical performance with a second half brace while Roberto Silva gave Dempo a flicker of hope when his deflected set-piece nestled in the United net.
With the victory, United see themselves in 5th position with 15 points while Dempo stay 9th with 10 points.
Dempo came into the fixture on the back of a morale boosting victory over the defending champions and there were no surprises in Arthur Papa’s starting eleven,
United started to dominate straight from the onset and Dempo chased shadows and could not get a hold of the ball.
A 35-yard stinger in the 14th minute by Nigerian Bello Rasaq which was heading for the top corner of the goal was superbly swayed over the post by Dempo custodian Subhasish Roy Chowdhary.
Dempo took their time to settle in and when they eventually did they looked far more superior as compared to their opponents and they mounted a series of attacks, but failed to make either one of them count
In the 24th minute Debarata Roy darted down the right flank and squared the ball inside the danger zone, but United’s defender Anupam Sarkar came in with a timely clearance to deny Jeje Lalpekhlua an easy finish.
In the very next minute Dempo’s Pronay Halder who had tested the rival keeper with a tame effort earlier latched on to a blistering 30-yard pile driver which forced Ishan Debnath to fling himself to his right and palm the ball for a corner.
Another chance went abegging for Dempos as Jeje reacted late to Debabrata’s cross in front of the 6-yard box, which enabled keeper to collect the ball.
The last ten minutes before the breather saw three more chances squandered by the Blues outfit.
Dempo should have taken the lead going into the breather but Alwyn George wasted what was undoubtedly Dempo’s best opportunity. Jeje decided to slip in Alwyn instead of shooting but the latter who had only the keeper between him and the goal somehow sent the ball wide of the target.
After making a poor start Dempo finished the half on a positive note while their opponents faded away as the match progressed.
United came all guns blazing and surged ahead five minutes after crossing over. Eric Brown scored a stunner from a 35-yard free kick which blazed past the faultless Dempo’s defensive wall and the keeper Subhasish Chowdhury who will be disappointed after he sees that on the replay.
It did not take long for the visitors to further increase their lead which came in the 56th minute, Vineeth CK collected a pass from the midfield and got the better of Dempo defender Shinnosuke Honda and set up overlapping Eric Brown who slammed the ball into the unguarded goal, 2-0.
It was absolute shocking defensive play from the towering centre back and it left Dempo coach Arthur Papas fuming on the touchline.
Dempo however showed great character and managed to pull a goal back through a touch of fortune in the 60th minute. A well executed free kick by Roberto Silva came off a rival defender and nestled into the United goal, 2-1.
Dempo might have thought that their luck had changed for the better but it was contrary, when a fierce shot by Roberto Silva was blocked by keeper Ishan and his chipped effort on the rebound kissed the upright, to the disbelief of his teammates.
United who had decided to sit back and absorb the pressure were living life on the edge and Simon Colosimo nearly made them pay in the 72nd minute but his long ranger by was brilliantly parried by Ishan. His next contribution came three minutes later when substitute Billy Mehmet sent a curling shot from inside the penalty box looked destined for the bottom corner, but Ishan emerged out of the blue with a diving save to deny him.
The final 10 minutes saw a shift in momentum and it was the visitors who were once again invaded Dempo territory with repeated raids.
Eric Brown who had put in a man of the match performance was booed and insulted by the spectators for unsporting conduct and was subsequently booked by the referee for time wasting.
However at the other end it was Dempo’s keeper who kept them in the game with three top class saves.
It was a fitting end to a thrilling contest which had kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.
United Sports Club keeper Ishan Debnath was named the Most Valuable Player of the match.