Kato brace floors Sporting in GFA Super League

Dempo SC 4-0 Sporting Clube de Goa

How many players score a brace in their first start in completely alien conditions? Not many but Yusuke Kato is definitely one. The Japanese striker in his first start gave plenty of indications about his goal scoring ability by scoring two opportunistic strikes and leading Dempo to a crushing 4-0 win over Sporting Clube de Goa in their first match of the GFA Super League.

Coach Mauricio Afonso started with Koko Sakibo and Yusuke Kato up front. They both combined well in the first twenty minutes and gave the Sporting defense many anxious moments. The Dempo midfield comprising of Peter Carvalho, Godwin Franco, Romeo Fernandes and Brian Mascarenhas constantly fed the strikers with good balls. The first real chance for Dempo came in the 24th minute when Kato dribbled past three Sporting defenders with brilliant body feints, but his shot went just wide of the post. Sporting’s only chance came just before the half hour mark when a defensive clearance by John Dias fell straight to Joseph Pereira who’s volley went straight into the hands of Dempo keeper Laxmikant Kattimani. That Sporting could not breach the Dempo citadel was testament to the brilliant defending by the Dempo quartet of John Dias, Creson Antao, Debabrata Roy and Valeriano Rebello. Just at the half hour mark Dempo took the lead after a strong run by Koko Sakibo saw him skip past three defenders and minus the ball to Kato who was in a brilliant position to head in past the Sporting keeper Milagrio Medeira and score his first goal for Dempo. Ten minutes later there was a moment of brilliance from Dempo right back Valeriano Rebello. A long clearance from Kattimani found Valeriano Rebello in the Sporting half. Valu spotted the keeper off his line and from 35 yards out spanked a dipping shot that went over the head of the Sporting keeper and dipped into the nylons. Dempo were then dominating possession and most of the play was concentrated in the Sporting half. Keita Boubacar and Kalu Ogba were constantly on the move trying to stop the Dempo attacks. Sporting’s young striker Victorino Fernandes hardly got a chance to get past the Dempo line of defense.

Coach Mauricio replaced Brian Mascarenhas with Nicolau Borges at half time. Soon after the break a miscommunication between the Dempo defenders and the keeper nearly resulted in a goal for Kalu but Cresson was there to thwart the danger. Dempo’s first chance of the second half cane in the 50th minute when Romeo Fernandes blasted his shot over from the right. Two minutes later Kato completed his brace with a well placed shot past Milagrio Medeira in the Sporting goal. A nice ball from Peter found Romeo on the right who put in a delightful ball for Nicolau Borges on the left. His initial shot was blocked by the keeper but the rebound fell straight to Kato who picked his spot in the top corner. Sporting’s best chance came in the 57th minute when a ball floated from a free kick found Keita who was in a perfect position to head home but he put his header over the bar. At thwe hour mark, there were anxious moments for substitute Joy Ferrao who fell unconscious. He was soon rushed to hospital and given the necessary treatment. Cliffton gonsalves coming in for Joy completed the rout after rounding off the keeper to score his third goal of the Goa League campaign. With the win Dempo moved up to third place with a game in hand trailing leaders Salgaocar Sports Club by four points. Dempo next play Salgaocar Sports Club under lights at Fatorda on Thursday.