Dempo SC prove too strong for Mohun Bagan
Margaon - Defending Champions Dempo SC made short work of Kolkata outfit Mohun Bagan 3-0 in an 8th round I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Wednesday. Joaquim Abranches and Ryuji Sueoka scored one apiece for Dempo in the 40th and the 44th minute respectively.
The win took Dempo to 19 points from 8 matches while Bagan stayed on 11 points from 8 matches.
After the first 40 minutes that were equally contested by both the teams, Dempo surged ahead in the 40th minute. India U-22 winger Romeo Fernandes ran down the right flank and essayed a low cross which was tapped in by national team striker Joaquim Abranches.
Dempo were clearly happy gaining the lead five minutes before the interval but little did they know that more joy was in store soon. The second goal came in the 44th minute as the bonus. Peter Carvalho made his way into the Bagan box but was brought down by Nirmal Chhetri. The referee pointed to the spot and Ryuji made no mistake in slotting past a diving Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul.
Dempo added one more to their tally in the second half in the 70th minute when Godwin Franco blasted in a long-ranger from around 30 yards.
Earlier in the first half, Dempo almost had the perfect start in the 3rd minute but were denied by the post after Clifford Miranda’s thumping free-kick beat all and bounced back. Two minutes later, they earned two consecutive corners but couldn’t capitalise.
A minute later, Joaquim Abranches, all in the clear off a Miranda cross, failed to head past Bagan custodian Shilton Paul.
Bagan had their first chance in the 10th minute when Odafa Okolie set up CS Sabeeth on top of the Dempo box, but Sabeeth failed to hit the target. Off the next move, Bagan’s Biswajit Saha shot wide over from the left side of the box.
Changing over, things went worse for Bagan when Biswajit Saha received his second yellow card of the match for his tackle on Gowdin Franco in the 52nd minute and was given his marching orders. Bagan were reduced to 10 men.
Dempo made the most of the situation as they controlled the pace of the game and preferred to keep possession of the ball. In the 59th minute they almost scored their third goal but Peter’s shot on way to the goal hit Sueoka on the way, giving Bagan a narrow escape.
Dempo Coach Armando Colaco introduced Rohan Ricketts when he substituted Miranda in the 60th minute. Ricketts almost scored with his first touch of the ball but Paul managed to keep his rasping left-footer away.
Ricketts had a huge impact in the match, as he seemed to be omnipresent in the Bagan half. At times, he was willing to fall behind and serve as the feeder to Sueoka upfront and at times, he preferred to lurk around the box to spell more danger for the makeshift Bagan defence.
Franco’s 30-yard piledriver sealed the match for Dempo in the 70th minute.