You are here:Home >> Sports >> Salgaocar FC go top
Salgaocar FC go top
April 10, 2013
Put halt on Dempo’s title hopes
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">MAPUSA: Salgaocar Football Club put a halt on Dempo’s title hopes by registering a 2-1 victory to go two points clear on top of the table in a 12th round GFA Pro League match at Duler Stadium, here, Tuesday.
This was a crucial tie for both teams in the title race with one more round to be played. With this round, Salgaocar moved up to the top of the standings with 26 points while Dempo slipped to the second spot to remain on 24 points.
Dempo’s morale was hit after suffering five successive defeats in the I-League, which is something unusual for the reigning champions. However, this was a good opportunity for the team to strike their rhythm and get back to winning ways.
Dempo started with Joaquim Abranches and Koko Sakibo upfront and hoped their strikers could deliver.
Salgaocar coach, David Booth fielded a young team with Marcus Mascarenhas alongside Nigerian Gabriel Obatola in the striking role.
Dempo were quick to settle down and could have surged ahead in the second minute after midfielder Godwin Franco cleverly released Romeo in the left flank, who muscled past Salgaocar’s Rosario Mendes into the danger zone but was unlucky as his powerful left-footer hit the upright with Salgaocar goalkeeper Albeno Gomes beaten.
The Blue Eagles dominated at the half hour mark and it looked like they were going to score but efforts from Nickson Castanha, Avioton Fernandes, Koko and Joaquim went in vain as Salgaocar survived the onslaught.
At the other end, The Green Brigade were finding their rhythm as skipper Beevan D’ Mello’s two out of the box strikes sailed inches over the crossbar. Then, Collin Abranches’ half volley missed the mark narrowly after Obatola did the spade work.
After resumption, Salgaocar burst into life as they went onto to break the deadlock in the 49th minute. Beevan and Obatola combined well to set up Marcus inside the box, whose rasping shot was too hot for Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
Spurred by the success, Salgaocar went on the offensive and could have doubled their advantage in the 68th minute after Collin Abranches’ well-measured floater found Obatola but the Nigerian’s powerful header was parried away by the rival custodian.
However, five minutes later, Salgaocar doubled their lead through substitute Gilbert Oliveira. Obatola’s 30-yarder was blocked by goalkeeper Kattimani but rebounded back to unmarked Gilbert, who bulged the nylons from hand-shaking distance.
In the final quarter, Dempo went all-out and pulled one back. Substitute Joy Ferrao’s shot was handled by Salgaocar’s Rahul Kumar at the edge of the box and referee Sunil Nanodkar awarded Dempo a free-kick. Godwin made good use off the resultant set-piece and beautifully curled the ball past the six-man wall and beat goalkeeper Albeno Gomes hands down to make it 2-1.
Salgaocar defender’s Rosario Mendes, Jos Vaz, Collin and Rahul worked tirelessly in the dying minutes to frustrate the Dempo strikers.