*Second Division I-League
Mandar Rao Dessai struck a superb strike to give Dempo Sports Club a winning start to their final phase of Second Division I-League match with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Gangtok Himalayan SC at Paljor stadium, Gangtok on Saturday.
Dempo SC star duo Mandar Rao Dessai and Romeo Fernandes made an immediate impact for the club on their return from suspension as they combined for the only goal of the match.
The left footed winger bagged the match winner in the 75th minute off Romeo’s assist, when his shot-cum cross from the left flank beat the rival keeper and went straight in the goal.
“To score on my return is a good thing but moreover we wanted to start the campaign with a win. The entire team gave their best for this result,” said Mandar on scoring on his return for the club.
“I dedicate this win to my entire team. I’m extremely happy that we got the three points,” said Mandar.
“Now we look towards our next match and hopefully we won’t disappoint our fans back home,” concluded the left winger as they play Neroca FC on April 2 in Imphal.
Dempo SC fielded six ISL players in the starting eleven including FC Goa stars- Mandar Rao Dessai, Romeo Fernandes and Kattimani- yet the Goan outfit struggled against the host and were lucky to walk with the three valuable points.
The first half saw Gangtok Himalayan dominate from the start and Dempo SC keeper Laxmikanth Kattimani pulled off couple of brilliant save to send his team level into the breather. At the other end, Felix missed two glorious chances as both his efforts were off target from a touching distance.
Post resumption saw a different Dempo SC, as the Goan outfit kept more of ball possession and soon scored the goal in the 75th minute.
Gangtok tried to equalise but Dempo SC defended resolutely to deny the opponents from scoring.