One more than half a dozen…. Champions almost…

Dempo Sports Club have one hand on the trophy after a first half blitzkrieg almost assured them of a third successive Goa League crown. The defending champions put it across second division bound Vasco Sports Club by 7-0 to enhance their goal difference to +20, eleven more than third placed Salgaocar who are on +9. Ranti Martins scored four, Koko had a brace and Climax scored the other- although Dempo should have at least reached double digits-they missed a host of chances.

Brian Mascarenhas tries to get past a Vasco defender

The fact that Dempo took this game seriously was proved by the fact that apart from Jessel Carneiro and the two mandatory U-20 players- Romeo Fernandes and Brian Mascarenhas- the rest were all I-League regulars. Vasco on the other hand who will leave for Siliguri on 1st March to play the second phase of the Second Division I-League rested most of their regulars. They did not have a single foreigner in their line up and the only regulars who started were Menino Fernandes and Sarvanand Korgaokar while Aniket Jadhav was on the bench.

The game was pretty much over in the first half itself when Dempo raced to a four goal lead thanks to a brace each from Koko Sakibo and Ranti Martins. Koko Sakibo opened the scoring in the eight minute after a goalmouth scramble ensured that the ball went in. Koko scored his second after quarter of an hour when a shot from Ranti Martins was palmed away by the keeper but the rebound fell straight to Koko who sent the keeper the wrong way and scored. The game looked over by then and Vasco were already looking jaded. Their minds were obviously on the Second Division League and this seemed an unnecessary distraction.

Dempo players in action

The third came in the 22nd minute when a peach of a cross from young Romeo Fernandes was headed in by Ranti Martins Just after the half hour mark a rare goal from Climax Lawrence- after an assist from Koko Sakibo saw the game pretty much buried. Ranti scored Dempo’s fifth after another brilliant run by Romeo on the right saw him lay it on a platter for Ranti to tap in.

At half time, Godwin Franco came in for Climax Lawrence. The game slowed down a bit as Vasco were just going through the motions. Ranti completed his hat trick after he beat the offside trap and latched on to a through ball from Peter Carvalho to slot home. Four minutes before the final whistle Ranti scored Dempo’s seventh after being fed in by Cliffton Gonsalves. Salgaocar now have to beat Sporting by eleven goals to have any chance to win the Goa League.