Salgaocar SC scored a hard fought 2-1 win over Dempo Sports Club in the Hero Elite Youth League match at the Ella Groud in Old Goa.
Needing a win to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the final round, Dempo started the match in attacking fashion. Rajat Harijan was a threat on the right side of midfield delivering some beautiful crosses that constantly troubled the Salgaocar defenders . The Golden Eagles’ first chance came in the opening minute – Rajat Harijan’s dangerous cross beat all the Salgaocar defenders and eventually fell to Dempo defender Nikhil Gurung who failed to connect. Soon after another cross from the right from Rajat Harijan found Aaron Alvares whose shot was brilliantly saved by the Salgaocar keeper Utkarsh Deshmukh. Desmond Fernandes then tried his luck from long range but his powerful shot was again thwarted by the Salgaocar keeper.
Just before half time Salgaocar took the lead against the run of play through striker Fezher Gomes. The goal was well worked after some neat passing and build up by the Salgaocar defence and midfielders.
Soon after the change of ends, Aaron Barreto made it 2-0 for Salgaocar FC after Nikhil Gurung’s delayed clearance gave Aaron the chance to exert pressure and steal the ball just in front of the goalkeeper to slot home. A few minutes later Dempo got a goal back through Kimran Fernandes after he was fed on a platter with a neat cross from Altroy Rodrigues. Dempo then dominated proceedings and enjoyed plenty of possession in search of an equaliser. They created plenty of openings and their strikers and the midfielders linked well to put the Salgaocar defenders under a lot of pressure. However the goal eluded the Golden Eagles and Salgaocar held on to earn a valuable three points to cement their position at the top of the table. The table toppers now need just a point from their remaining two fixtures to qualify for the final round.