Mahindra United came back from a goal down to win against Dempo in Mumbai. The 3-1 victory results in the Jeepmen taking pole position in the I-league, with Dempo just a point behind the new league leaders. Ranti Martins headed the first goal of the evening but Mahindra came back strong in the second half, with Mohammed Rafi and Muritala Ali (2) finding the back of the net for the home team.
Dempo started the game well, with a few good chances in the early minutes through the right flank. They got the opener when their in form striker Ranti Martins scored after receiving a perfect cross from Valeriano Rebello with 14 minutes into the game.
Mahindra United’s inexperienced goalkeeper Subhodeep Mukherjee was made to stretch in the 18th minute to keep Beto’s curling free-kick from going in.
Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattymani awarded Mahindra a free-kick right on the edge of the box, when he handled the ball outside his restricted area. Steven Dias saw his attempt just inches wide from the upright.
The Goan side made sure Mahindra’s Steven Dias was not given enough space and time on the ball to deliver his dangerous passes throughout the first 45 minutes..
The second half got under way and Serbian Svetozar Mijin was brought on by Mahindra in place of Paresh Shivalkar. The home team looked more composed and created a few good opportunities in front of goal.
Mohammed Rafi found himself at the right place on the right time, as Debabrata Roy’s shot took a deflection and Rafi heading the ball over Dempo’s Kattymani in the 57th minute to equalise for David Booth’s team. With an hour into the game, Muritala Ali timed his run to perfection when he got to the end of a long ball from Ravanan and the Dempo defenders had no hope to reach anyway near the Nigerian striker as he outpaced them to score the second goal for the Mumbaikars.Ranti Martins saw his free header go over the bar in the 78th minute. Dempo failed to create many chances in the Mahindra’s half.
David Booth brought in Sushil Singh in place of Rafi, so that the fresh legs would help the Jeepmen on the counter. This move did work as Muritala scored in the 94th minute to seal the three points for the new league leaders.