Super-sub Pedro Gonsalves played an important role for the Golden Eagles with a goal and assist.

Dempo Sports Club made a comeback from a two goals deficit against Salgaocar Football Club to beat them by a 3-2 margin in a Goa Professional League match on Thursday. Devendra Murgaonkar and Chaitan Komarpan scored in the first half to put his side on the driver seat at the half time. Joaquim Abranches along with substitute Pedro Gonsalves and Kirtikesh Gadekar scored late in the second half to ensure a victory for the Golden Eagles.

Dempo coach Samir Naik chose to go with the same XI, which hammered Velsao SCC 6-0 in the last match. Whereas, keeper Nora Fernandes, midfielder Saeesh Halarnkar and defender Flagan Rodrigues were the three changes in the Salgaocar side which suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sesa Football Academy in the previous game.

Salgaocar had a chance to surge ahead in the 8th minute when Dempo defender Edwin Viegas failed to clear the ball from just outside the box. Dempo goalkeeper Agnelo came off his line to deal with the situation, but fumbled to contain the threat. Taking advantage of the situation, Devendra Murgaonkar took control of the ball, however, Dempo defender Nickson Castanha made a timely interception to keep his side safe.

Dempo also had an opportunity to take the lead in the 12th minute when Nickson made an inch-perfect cross to Alber Gonsalves in front of the goal but the forward’s header was parried away by Salgaocar custodian Nora.

At the other end, the Green Brigade took the lead in the 18th minute as Ribhav Sardesai found Devendra with a defence splitting pass, who shot past Dempo keeper Agnelo from inside the box to make it 1-0.

Ten minutes later, Dempo came with a swift attack from the left flank. Veliti Cruz set up Joaquim Abranches in the box with just the keeper to beat, but the forward failed to connect from close as the ball went out for a goal kick.

The Golden Eagles came close to scoring twice  in the nest five minutes. However, Abranches’ header off Alber’s cross missed the target by inches. A few minutes later, Yogesh Kadam’s shot deflected off a Salgaocar defender and went out for a corner.

The very next minute, Salgaocar U-20 winger Chaitan Komarpant came with a shot from the edge of the box but Agnelo stretched to his limit to deny his attempt.

In the added minutes of the first half, Chaitan managed to double the lead for Salgaocar when a curling cross from Sanson Pereira was brilliantly headed in by him to make the score 2-0.

Down by two goals, Dempo head coach Samir made a double substitution at the half time as U-20 player Rajat Harijan and Aman Govekar made their way into the pitch, replacing Suraj Hadkonkar and Beevan D’Mello respectively.

Dempo started the second half on an attacking note and made numerous attacks, however, they were denied in the final third by Salgaocar.

At the other end, Salgaocar had two more opportunities just after crossing the hour mark. Devendra saw his powerful strike collected by Dempo keeper Agnelo, while Sanson shot wide from the 25-yard free kick.

Dempo head coach Samir Naik made his final substitution on the 70th minute when Pedro Gonsalves replaced Alber. Gonsalves proved his calibre within three minutes as he dribbled past a Salgaocar defender in the box and sent a low cross to Abranches at the far post, where the forward made a simple tap-in to make it 2-1.

Salgaocar answered with a swift attack but Agnelo made a brilliant block to deny Devendra in the box.

Dempo managed to level back on the 80th minute when a long ball by Kirtikesh Gadekar was brilliantly headed to unmarked Pedro in the box by Beevan, who clinically converted to make it 2-2.

Pedro had the golden opportunity to seal the game for the Golden Eagles on the 87th minute when Abranches found him with a cross in the box, however, he failed to capitalize the chance.

Kirtikesh scored the winner for Dempo in the added time. A left footed attempt by him was blocked by a Salgaocar defender as the ball rolled back to him. In the second attempt, Kirtikesh gave no chance to the Salgaocar custodian, Nora, as the Golden Eagles bagged all three points form the thrilling encounter.

Click here for the Goa Pro League 2019-20 points table after this match.