Dempo SC 3-2 Sporting Clube de Goa
Dempo Sports Club broke their sequence of losses and returned to the top of the table after securing a 3-2 win over Sporting Clube de Goa at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Thursday.
Dempo were down by an early first half goal but Joy Ferrao first restored parity, then Koko Sakibo rose from the bench to put the former champions ahead before Ranty Martins settled the issue. Dawson Fernandes had scored Sporting Clube’s opening goal and Joyner Lourenco added another one in the third minute of added time.
With the victory, Dempo move to the top of the table with 24 points from 11 matches while Sporting Clube stay on 13 points from 11 matches.
Eager to put the three consecutive losses behind them, Dempo started strongly and should have been ahead early in the game had Joy Ferrao’s half-volley not kissed the goalpost and sailed out of play. At the other end, Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani was required to make two good saves to keep the scoreline blank. First, he dived full length to keep out Jovel Martins’ long ranger and then when South Sudan striker james Moga threatened to find the back of the net, Kattimani proved equal to the challenge again.
Sporting Clube surged ahead immediately after resumption when Stephen Barreto’s cross from the right should have been converted by Moga in front of the goal instead it was Dawson who took everyone by surprise when his reverse kick landed in the goal.
Dempo took the setback in their stride and continued attacking. True enough they found the goal in the 62nd minute, although in fortunate circumstances. A feeble shot from Godwin Franco was diverted by a Sporting defender only for Joy Ferrao, lurking nearby, to pounce on the opportunity.
Dempo surged ahead in the 74th minute when Climax Lawrence put Koko through and the Nigerian striker was left with the simplest of task to beat Milagrio Medeira under the Sporting goal.
Ranty Martins scored the team’s third goal six minutes from close. This time too it was Climax who did all the hardwork and left Ranty with a simple tap.
There was still time for another goal but this time, it were Sporting Clube who benefited as Joyner Lourenco came up with a stunning 40-yarder that found the top corner of the nets.
Godwin Franco was declared the Man of the Match.
Mohun Bagan 0-0 Salgaocar
McDowell Mohun Bagan were held to goalless draw by defending champions Salgaocar SC in a crucial I-League match at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Courtsey the result, Bagan move to 21 points from 11 matches, while Salgaocar move to 13 points from same number of matches.
Bagan who missed a number of their key players due to injury couldn’t capitalise on the home advantage. Bagan started with Ashim partnering Odafa Okolie upfront but there wasn’t much cohesion in the midfield.
On the other hand, Salgaocar depended a lot on Edeh with Ryuji Sueoka playing the perfect foil to him from a withdrawn position; a result of which Salgaocar looked more threatening in the first 20 minutes. But they were not able to finish it off – invariably muffing from close or failing to get past Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee.
Sueoka should have put them in the lead in the 35th minute but his shot went wide and then in the 41th minute, Biswajit failed to place the ball in the net with Sangram out of position.
In the second half, both teams went out for the elusive goal. As they pressed hard, Salgaocar got three free-kicks but weren’t able to capitalise. The best chance came in the 73rd minute when Francis failed to get it past a diving Sangram. Sangram again came to the rescue of his team when he thwarted substitute Anthony Barbossa in the 86th minute.
For Bagan, captain Jose Barreto did take the field in the last twenty minutes but wasn’t able to make any impact. Barring two long-rangers from Odafa in the first half, the Green and Maroon didn’t have much to boast about in the match.
Chidi Edeh was declared the Man-of-the-Match.
Mumbai FC 4-0 HAL
In another match, Mumbai FC proved too strong for bottom-ranked HAL at the Balewadi Sports Complex. Mumbai FC won 4-0. Abhishek Yadav scored a brace while Cavin Lobo and Gbeneme Friday scored one apiece.
Mumbai FC by virtue of this win move to 11 points from as many matches while HAL stay on 1 point from 11 matches.
Abhishek Yadav was named the Man-of-the-match.