The South Goans dominated the match but were wasteful in front of goal.

Dempo SC secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over dominant Velsao S&C Club in the Goa Professional League match played on Monday. Substitute Velanco Rodrigues scored the all-important goal in the 85th minute to grab all three points for the Golden Eagles.  

Velsao coach Eban Mesquita made a couple of changes to the team that lost to FC Goa. Mathew Colaco and Cajetan Fernandes were named in the starting XI of the South Goan club. Whereas, Pedro Gonsalves was the only change in Dempo’s starting XI. Dempo SC were held by Churchill Brothers in their previous match.

It was surprising to see the South Goan side dominate over Dempo in the major part of the first half. They should have scored in the eighth minute when skipper Ronil Azavedo setup Chadel Fernandes inside the box. However, the young midfielder sent his shot over with just the goalkeeper to beat. Velsao had another opportunity to take the lead in the 22nd minute. This time, Velito Cruz found Cajetan from a set-piece. However, the midfielder was denied by Dempo keeper Dylan, who dived full length to keep Velsao at bay.

Dempo’s best opportunity to take the lead came in the 24th minute when Kirtikesh Gadekar found Saiesh Bagkar with a perfect cross in the box. But, the young midfielder’s goalbound header deflected off Velsao defender Ronaldo Pereira and went out for a corner.

The Golden Eagles showed some urgency after the resumption and came close to scoring in the 48th minute. Young Vieri Colaco played his way into the box and tried his luck, but failed to keep his shot target. At the other end, Velsao were awarded a free-kick from which Velito found Chadel, whose header went over.

The South Goans had the best chance of the match in the 74th minute when Cajetan sent Chadel through inside the box. He smartly cut it back to an unmarked Rohan Rodrigues at the far post. However, Dempo defender Edwin Viegas pulled off a goal-line clearance to deny Rodrigues.

Dempo, who were toothless in attack for a major part of the match, finally managed to score in the 85th minute. Substitute Velanco Rodrigues scored after fellow substitute Laximanrao Rane darted into the box and sent a square pass to the midfielder, who tapped the ball home to put his side ahead.

Velsao, who were wasteful throughout the game, came close to equalizing late in the match. Velito made a short pass to Ronil, who danced past the Dempo defence and shot on goal, which was blocked by Dempo defender Shallum Pires.

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