Dempo SC return to I-League


Five-time National champions Dempo SC returned back in the I-League 2016-17 by emerging champion of the 2nd Division I-League 2015-16 defeating Minerva Academy FC 3-1 in the final league match at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Sunday.
Milagres Gonsalves scored a first-half brace for the home team. The other goal was netted by Felix Chidi. Amandeep Singh reduced the margin for Minerva.
Dempo SC took just nine minutes to get their nose in front when Milagres headed a long ball unleashed by Mandar Rao Dessai from the top of the box. Four, minutes later, Felix doubled the lead following a scintillating solo run, leaving the opponent defenders aghast.
Minerva’s Manvir Singh and Sajandeep Singh tried their best to penetrate the Dempo SC defence but the tame effort from the top of the box was easily collected by Laxmikant Kattimani.
Just after the half-hour mark, Felix ran past Amandeep Singh and released a loopy ball, which was converted by Milagres with much ease to send the Dempo SC dugout in a delirium.
Dempo SC, who were enjoying the lion’s share of ball possession, were very close to scoring their fourth goal at the stroke of the first half but Mandar’s grounded shot missed the net by a whisker.
On the resumption, Surinder Singh introduced Nitesh Chhikara at the expense of Kamalpreet Singh to shape up the defence. Nitesh combined well with Sehijpal Singh from the right but his long ball was snatched by the safe hands of Kattimani.
With eight minutes to the final whistle, Felix almost completed his brace but Arshdeep Singh threw himself to thwart the Nigerian from increasing the gap further. In the 86th minute, Minerva Academy FC had their share of joy when Amandeep found the back of the net from the top of the box, thanks to a deflection by Shallum Pires.