A vintage second half performance saw Dempo Sports Club ready to uncork the champagne as a 4-1 demolition of Sporting Clube de Goa ensured that Dempo now are just one point away from a record fifth title.
Ranti Martins produced a blistering performance, scoring all four goals to take his tally of the season to an astonishing 31 goals. Dempo started the game without the suspended Clifford Miranda and the injured Subhasish Roy Chowdhury and Mahesh Gawli. Joaquim Abranches took Clifford’s place on the left, Rowilson Rodrigues was paired in defense with Creson Antao and Laxmikant Kattimani started in goal. The game took time to kick off into action as both teams treaded cautiously. But Ranti Martins broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with a sensational strike- worthy of being a contender for the goal of the season. Samir Naik from the right picked up a ball to Koko Sakibo and passed it to Ranti. The Nigerian though being hounded by Keita Boubacar, turned and fired in a brilliant volley passed Ashok Singh in the Sporting goal to make it 1-0. Thereafter Sporting came close to the equalizer but Freiman Peixoto shot just over the bar in the 31st minute. Sporting though equalized in the 40th minute after a corner from Anthony De Souza was headed in by James Moga.
In the second half it was all Ranti Martins as the League’s top scorere rattled the Sporting defense with brilliant strikes. A minute after the restart Dempo were ahead after a brilliant move from Abranches set Koko free and the Nigerian passed it on to his strike partner for a neat tap in. In th 57th minute a treacherous miss ass from Adil Khan saw Ranti latch on to the ball and score easily past the Sporting keeper to complete his hat trick. Ranti scored his fifth of the night in the 75th minute to complete the rout.
Dempo assistant coach Mauricio Afonso was pleased with his side’s showing. “ Our performance was excellent in the second half. We never allowed our opponents to settle down”
Dempo are now a point away from the title and can secure their fifth League crown if they draw againstEast Bengalon Friday at the Nehru Stadium.