I-League: Dempo and Salgaocar FC play out draw, relegation threat grows for both sides
Dempo SC and Salgaocar FC played a goalless draw as the Goan giants continued to remain in the relegation zone after their I-League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Wednesday. Both teams are now on 18 points at the bottom of the table and will be worried with just two matches left to be played in the league.
Dempo and Salgaocar FC both started cautiously and were unwilling to take risks at the start of the game. The strategy was understandable as both teams did not want to hand over the initiative to the other in their battle to save relegation.
There were no clear cut chances for either team in the opening 45 minutes and they were restricted to either long rangers or hopeful moves. Salgaocar FC were the first to have a look at the goal. It came early in the game when Rocus Lamare slipped a ball through for Darryl Duffy and the Scottish striker did well to test the rival goalkeeper Kattimani, who was well positioned to thwart any impending danger.
Dempo's first chance was created by Pronay Halder, who made his debut in this edition of the I-League. Pronay let go of a rasping long-ranger that rattled Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, who, however parried away the ball to safety. Another shot by Tolgay was smartly saved by Karanjit in the opening half.
In the second session, Pronay continued from where he had left off in the opening half. Pronay's long ranger sailed just wide and almost immediately substitute Alwyn George had a chance, but his header from close range was wide of the target. There was a flurry of chances for Dempo in the second half but the former champions were woeful in front of the goal. Jewel Raja came up with a weak shot from close range and Tolgay's free-kick was saved by the goalkeeper.
Salgaocar had a chance on a counter attack as Bikash Jairu's long ball fell perfectly to Douhou Pierre. The midfielder beat the onrushing goalkeeper but defender Rowilson Rodrigues came up with a swift tackle to rob Douhou.
There was one last chance for Dempo in the 90th minute when Tolgay was fed on the platter by Holicharan Narzary but the Australian striker shockingly missed from handshaking distance.