Salgaocar FC squeeze past Dempo; inch closer to title
The AIFF sub Junior League is interestingly poised with Salgaocar FC sitting on top with fourteen points Dempo SC second on 11 and FC Goa third on 9 points. All teams have played six matches and have two more remaining.
Nagoa: A second half strike by Michael Dias was enough for Salgaocar FC to register a solitary goal win against Dempo Sports Club and move four points adrift at the top of the table in the AIFF Sub-Junior League played at Nagoa grounds, Verna on Friday.
The all-important goal in favour of Salgaocar team was scored in the 66th minute, following a grand move on the top of the box, from where Salgaocar’s attacking medio sent a forward pass to Michael who moved on the edge of the box on the right flank and sent a stiff grounder, giving no chance at all to Dempo keeper Rohit Patil.
It was quite a close contest between the two well known teams who played engrossing football with the ball rolling on from one end to the other.
While Dempo SC had more say in the first session, the second half belonged to Salgaocar FC who produced some dangerous forays for about fifteen minutes – during which time the Dempo citadel did not crumble, thanks to good goalkeeping by Dempo SC keeper Rohit Patil.
Dempo sounded the first warning in the 9th minute of play when Asmon Viegas – who dazzled throughout with his fine moves - sent a good cross across the face of Salgaocar FC goal, but surprisingly there was no one to connect it home and the ball went rolling out.
Dempo SC attacked again in the 12th minute, once again through Asmon whose try this time was punched away by Salgacoar FC keeper Akash Singh for an abortive flag kick.
Now, it was the turn of Salgaocar FC to go into the attacking mode and following a counter offensive move, Flan Crasto sent a cracking shot which was saved by Dempo keeper Rohit bravely.
Once again, Salgaocar FC were in the thick of action through the efforts of Flan whose header was prevented by Dempo keeper from entering the nets with a good diving save.
Salgaocar FC made another attempt to find the mark but their players could not get past the Dempo defence.
It was Flan again for Salgaocar FC who made a great move when he crossed a ball from the right flank to Joean Simoes whose powerful header was grabbed by Dempo keeper Rohit.
Salgaocar FC’s play revolved around their captain Rui Noronha whose booming shots threatened the Dempo goal quite often. On one occasion, he sent a 35-yard scorching free kick which was smartly collected by Dempo SC keeper Rohit Patil who caught the attention of the spectators – many of them were parents of the players – that made it to the venue.
Dempo SC were seen creating good play with some fine touches but it was the Salgaocar FC team who stole the hearts when they scored the match-winner through Michael’s strike collecting full points.
With this win, Salgaocar FC are on 15 points in six matches while Dempo S C is on 11 points having played the same number of games. Both teams play their penultimate game before meeting each other for the final game of the Goa Zone. The two top teams qualify for the final