Tolgay stars as Dempo SC steal a march
Tolgay Ozbey scored two from the spot in a well deserved hattrick to set up a convincing 4-1 Dempo win dealing in the process a heavy blow to Sporting clube de Goa’s semifinal chances in a Group A Hero Federation Cup encounter here at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday.
Ozbey scored two penalties either side of halftime after opening the floodgates in the 11th minute to script a comprehensive win for the Goan heavyweights thus sailing smoothly towards a last-four berth. Beevan D’Mello pulled one back when the score read 3-1 but Romeo Fernandes added gloss to the score with a late strike. Dempo now sit top of the table with six points while Sporting are still to open their account.
It all started when India International Clifford Miranda’s trademark darting run down the left inside flank was prematurely ended by Nigerian stopper-back Kofi Dankwae for a freekick on the edge of the area. Dempo were showing their intentions from the word go with the likes of Mandar Rao Desai and Romeo keeping their rival defense on tenterhooks and linking up well with Tolgay up front.
It didn’t take long for the blue shirts to take the lead. Mandar squared for Tolgay who swiveled to fire low into the back of the net. Moments later Sporting’s Nigerian striker Ogba Kalu Nnanna got free from his marker to meet a floater only to glance his header wide of target. But that was an aberration as Tolgay led the charge for Dempo, his stinging right-footer from the top of the box flying inches over and then a great run to meet Francis’s cross punctuated by the offside flag.
The sound of the whistle sounded sweeter the next time though as referee Fasil Salahudeen awarded Dempo a penalty after Francis was pulled down by Kofi inside the box while both were chasing the squared ball from Lenny Rodrigues. Tolgay stepped up and notched up his double with a powerful strike that beat keeper Sandip Nandy despite guessing right.
The next minute the former East Bengal and Mohun Bagan marksman could have had his hattrick but he dragged his attempt wide after twisting and turning inside the box. Sporting brought in Beevan in place of Chandrashekhar Chinta in the hope of a turnaround.
But Tolgay was not to be stopped. Joyner Laourenco was at fault this time felling the 28-year old inside the area to give away the second penalty of the match. Tolgay converted with aplomb to bring up his hattrick – the first of the tournament so far – sending Nandy the wrong way to tuck home low into the bottom left corner.
Sporting to their credit did not throw in the towel. Haroon Amiri cleared off his own line from a Anthony Wolfe scooped effort and at the other end substitute Holicharan Narzary missed a sitter.
But Sporting for all their efforts reduced the margin finally. Beevan D’Mello curled in a freekick from the edge of the box with Laxmikant Kattimani getting a faint touch to it. Romeo put the icing on the cake at the end of the match latching onto substitute Alwyn George’s pass to go solo and power home low into the back of the net.