The Golden Eagles failed to secure full points despite being the dominant side in the match.
Dempo Sports Club and Churchill Brothers Sports Club played out a goalless draw in the traditional Goan Derby played in the Goa Pro League 2021-22 at Duler Stadium on Monday.
Dempo made a few changes to their side from the last season. Newly-signed keeper Dylan DaSilva and U-20 forward Vieri Colaco were given starts. Dempo’s super-sub Suraj Hadkonkar also made it to the starting XI. On the other hand, keeper Nora Fernandes and Keenan Almeida were the new faces for the Red Machines.
The match started with end-to-end play, as Churchill were the first to have a look at goal in the second minute. The Red Machines were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, following a rough tackle by Desmon Pereira on Thangjam Singh. Quan Gomes stepped forward and went for glory from the set-piece, only to see it denied by the woodwork.
Dempo also had a similar opportunity a few minutes later. Churchill defender Jovel Martin brought down Dempo’s Vieri to give away a free-kick in a dangerous area. Suraj tried to find his teammate Edwin Viegas in front of goal, but the Dempo lad failed to beat the offside trap.
Churchill once again came close to scoring in the 11th minute. Quan found Schubert Pereira in the box with a perfect through pass, but he failed to control the ball with just rival keeper Dylan to beat, as the ball went out for a goal-kick.
At the other end, Aman should have put Dempo ahead in the 41st minute when he found himself on the receiving end of a long pass from his goalkeeper Dylan, but the latter failed to connect from close. A few minutes later, they had another opportunity to surge ahead. Aman setup Kirtikesh with a decent pass at the top of the box but the midfielder shot wide.
On crossing over, Dempo had the best chance in the 53rd minute. Aman dribbled past a Churchill defender in the box and sent a cut-back to Saiesh Bagkar, but Churchill keeper Nora Fernandes made a fantastic save to deny the Dempo man. Churchill also made a raid on their rivals, as substitute Saurav Mandal cut past a Dempo defender to enter the box and tried his luck. But, Dempo keeper Dylan made a diving save to keep his side safe.
The Golden Eagles had another easy opportunity to take the lead in the 71st minute. Suraj sent a low cross to midfielder Velanco Rodrigues but the substitute shot over the crossbar with an empty goal in front of him.
The best chance for Churchill came in the added minutes, as substitute striker Afdal Varikkodan easily danced past three opponents in his run from the halfway line and went for glory from inside the box. But, Dempo custodian Dylan made a diving effort to push the ball for a corner.
Dempo also had two more opportunities in the dying minutes of the match. First Velanco shot wide, while a minute later. another substitute Necio Fernandes saw his curling strike miss the target narrowly.