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I-League: ONGC score shock 3-1 win against champions Dempo SC!

Promoted ONGC scored a shock 3-1 victory against champions Dempo SC in a Round 6 match of the I-League at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi. ONGC move away from the bottom of the table with now five points from six matches, while Dempo stay stop with 13 ...

Promoted ONGC scored a shock 3-1 victory against champions Dempo SC in a Round 6 match of the I-League at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi. ONGC move away from the bottom of the table with now five points from six matches, while Dempo stay stop with 13 points from the same number of games with the other sides still to play their matches.

Post-match seasoned Dempo coach Armando Colaco said, “They played to a plan and never allowed us to play. We need to credit them for the victory!”

Shorabuddin Mollick, Jatin Singh Bisht and Eric Brown scored one apiece for ONGC, while midfielder Peter Carvalho scored Dempo’s only goal of the day; still ONGC could have scored even more through Mollick and Japanese recruit Yusa Katsumi as it was afternoon to forget for the Goans, while the Oilmen will hope this is a turning point in their season.

“This is a big moment for us. Dempo are not a one-man team. It’s not for nothing that they stay the most consistent team in Indian football in the last decade. We made a plan and the boys implemented it on the field. I’m very proud of my boys,” ONGC Coach Subrata Bhattacharya said.

Despite Dempo enjoying more possession in the first ten minutes, ONGC took the lead in the 12th minute. A brilliant pass from Eric Brown found Kailash Patil in the clear, Dempo keeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury managed to keep out Kailash’s shot, but young Shorabuddin Mollick was there to tap in.

Dempo tried to regroup and in the 16th minute, a Peter Carvalho header off a Clifford Miranda free-kick missed the target by a whisker. And then, young Romeo Fernandes was in the thick of action in the 24th minute when he snaked down the right side and essayed a centre but first, Sueoka’s tap was cleared from the goal line by Robin Gurung and then off the rebound, much to the dismay of the Dempo bench, Sueoka’s shot hit the post. In the 33rd minute, Mollick muffed the easiest chance of the day. He latched onto a miss pass, had all the time and space with Subhasish at his mercy; but he failed to slot it home as Subhasish kept him at bay.

Changing over, Dempo tried to press more. But the ONGC defence led by ‘Man of the Match’ Robin Gurung was equal to the task. Unable to restore parity, frustration started to creep into the Dempo’s ranks, something which ONGC were quick to capitalise. In the 52nd minute, ONGC’s Japanese recruit Ysua Katsumi sneaked in between the two Dempo defenders Rowilson Rodrigues and Creston Antao but with only Subhashish to beat, he hurried into his shot and missed the target.

But the moment of the match was yet to arrive. Former India midfielder Jatin Singh Bisht, the ONGC captain, made it 2-0 with a rasping shot from outside the box in the 58th minute. Subhasish despite his desperate dive came nowhere near it. Mollick, on this occasion, stayed the feeder to Jatin. Only three minutes later Dempo pulled one back when Peter Carvalho gently tapped in off a Clifford Miranda free-kick down the left.

But ONGC had more in store. In injury time Liberian Eric Brown, who stayed omnipresent and impressed all with his holding and distribution made it 3-1 with a left-footer from outside the box.

“Our midfield couldn’t function properly. But that’s football. This is just the sixth round and I’m sure my boys will bounce back in style. I stay confident of their character,” Armando Colaco concluded at the post-match press conference.

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