Dempo SC marches on to semi final with a 2-0 win over Mumbai FC
Two first half goals coming from captain Clifford Miranda and Romeo Fernandes sealed a semi-final berth for Dempo SC. Dempo won 4 matches in a row in the Hero Federation Cup to become the first team from Group A to qualify for the next stage. Tonight’s defeat eliminated the Mumbai outfit who managed to gather just 4 points from as many games.
Dempo dominated the entire first half
Dempo SC dominated the game from the very beginning. They enjoyed superior ball possession and controlled the midfield as per their whims. Khalid Jamil's players looked like boys in front of men.
Arthur Papas changed his starting XI, resting quite a few regulars including Australian recruit Tolgay Ozbey. Starting in 4-4-2 formation, Francis Fernandes and Holicharan Narzary featured as strikers. Jewel Raja and Lenny Rodrigues took control of the midfield. They blocked Mumbai FC’s attacks with ease and create many chances.
The first goal came from the captain Clifford Miranda’s header in the 15-minute mark. Holicharan Narzary floated a wonderful cross which was headed home with ease by the veteran Goanese. In the 32nd minute, local boy Romeo Fernandes doubled the lead scoring his third goal of the tournament. Yet again young Holicharan Narzary was the feeder of a fine pass.
Dempo failed to extend their lead in the second half despite getting many chances
Dempo started the game in the second half exactly from where they had left off in the first half. Mumbai FC remained clueless as Dempo created continuous opportunities. They could have easily thumped few more goals, but they missed many chances.
Credit must be given to the Mumbai defenders who thwarted their much superior opponents. Khalid Jamil’s decision of replacing Justin Stephen with Kali Alauddin in the first half proved to a good move as the combination of Chika Wali and Kali prevented Mumbai FC from conceding more goals.
Dempo are now seated comfortably at the top of the group table with 9 points from 3 games. Their last encounter is against the team from Shillong, Royal Wahingdoh. The Goan Giants are undoubtedly one of the best team in this year's Hero Federation Cup and surely one of the title favourites.