It took 90 minutes for the reigning champions to seal an all important victory against minnows Air India in an exciting Round VII encounter of I-League held at PJN stadium Fatorda.
After a cautious first half, Dempo SC dominated the next 45 minutes with at least six smart moves which went in vain without finding the target from close distances. It was the seventh attempt from striker Joaquim Abranches which came in the dying minutes of the match that fetched Dempo the match winner. With this win, Dempo have now collected 16 points in seven matches and occupy the top position while Air-India are lingering with only three points in their kitty in six matches.
Although Dempo won by a solitary goal, there were plenty of chances for the I-League champions to score. Ryuji Seuoka and Clifford Miranda were guilty of not finishing the moves set up by the midfielders in the 7th and 18th minute. Dempo attacked time and again but could not find that elusive goal in the first half.
But in the second session, Dempo really went in for the killer but what eluded them was the much important goal. During this spell, Abranches saw his effort hitting the cross bar off a cross from Clifford Miranda and then quickly defender Samir Naik sent a cross to Abranches whose good header missed the target narrowly. Very soon, defender Mahesh Gawli also saw his header missing the mark.
Armando Colaco drafted in Rohan Ricketts, Romeo Fernandes and Valeriano Rebello to build more pressure and these substitutions went a long way in helping Dempo to register the victory.
Finally, in the 90th minute came the much needed goal off a combined move from Sueoka and Romeo. It was Sueoka who crossed the ball to Romeo from the right flank and Romeo who received the ball on the left flank then passed it to Joaquim Abranches at the goal mouth, who just tapped the ball to send it to the far corner of the nets.
Dempo SC will now play Bencherifa’s Mohun Bagan on 28th November at 5:30 pm at the PJN Stadium, Margao. This match will be telecast live on TEN Action+Brought to you by