Pune FC recorded their biggest victory over an I-League champion since inception with a dominating 5-1 verdict over Dempo SC at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Saturday.
At half time the teams were level 1-1 but in the second session Pune FC’s blitz was too much for Dempo to bear that completely made the Goan team’s defence blink and concede four goals, eventually losing 1-5.
Pune FC’s sharp shooter James Moga scored two goals, first by providing the lead in the 15the minute of play and then adding one more in the 53rd minute.
The other goal scorers for Pune were Arata Izumi (76th), substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua (79th) and Douhou Pierre (85th).
Dempo pulled one back in the first half through Joaquim Abranches in the 23rd minute which came off a free-kick.
Dempo started off with two quick moves which could have culminated into goals, one of which came in the very 9th minute with Joaquim Abranches fumbling with an open goal in front of him and rival keeper Abhra Mondal out of position.
In the second session too, Dempo attacked well but what let them down was their shaky defence which crumbled under pressure on counter attacks by the opponents.
And to make matters worse, the forward line consisting of Rohan Ricketts and Ryuji Sueoka did not click well today and though Coach Armando Colaco brought in Koko Sakibo in the 70th minute, it was too late when the damage had already been done. Sakibo tried his best to score in the 20 minutes that he played and twice his shots were blocked by the Pune FC defence.
On the other hand, Pune knew very well what they were up to. Defender Othallo Tabai and Chika Wali did well to move up with the ball even as midfielder Arata Izumi and Khantang Paite played an extraordinary role to feed the strikers with precise passes that beat the Dempo defence at regular intervals in the second half.
A cross from Khantang Paite was enough to beat the Dempo defence where James Moga rushed and scored with ease to beat Subhasish Roy Chowdary to give his team the lead.
After missing a couple of chances, Dempo restored parity through a free-kick by sending a fiercely driven shot after Peter Carvalho was brought down outside the box, some 30 yards away from the goal.
In the second session, Pune coach Derrick Pereira had a good talk with his players and flashed some aces that Dempo found too difficult to contain and fell under pressure on counter raids of the Pune team.
So telling was the pressure on the Dempo team that goals came in quickly after James Moga had buttressed their score with a brace in the 53rd minute after even dodging Dempo keeper Subhasish Roy. And then Pune team scored quick goals in the 76th, 79th and 85th minute thorugh Arata, Jeje and Douhou Pierre.
At the post-match briefing Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira said that he is dedicating the win to his former coach T Shanmugam, who passed away adding further that it was a great performance by his boys in beating a champion team like Dempo.
On the other hand, Dempo coach Armando Colaco said that his boys will bounce back as such things have happened in the past even to top teams like Barcelona.