Goals from Philip Odogwu and Stendly Fernandes sealed the three points for the Flaming Oranje.
Goals from Philip Odogwu and Stendly Fernandes were enough for Sporting Clube de Goa to secure a 2-0 win against Dempo SC in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Tuesday.
Shubham Malwankar was the lone change in the Dempo lineup that had blanked Sesa Fa in the previous match. Whereas, Sporting coach Francisco Vaz made two changes to his side which had secured a 2-0 win over Velsao SCC in the last match. Keeper Melroy Fernandes and U-20 midfielder Dattaraj Gaonkar made the cut into the team.
Though Dempo started the match on an attacking note, it was Sporting Goa who created the first potent chance in the 10th minute. George D’Souza sent a long free-kick to skipper Marcus Mascarenhas in the box, but the forward headed over the crossbar.
In the very next minute, George came up with another powerful free-kick from 40-yards. Instead of collecting the ball Dempo keeper Agnelo Gomes elected to punch. The resulting loose ball was headed in by an unmarked Philip Odagwu to put the Flaming Orange into the lead.
Sporting almost doubled the lead in the 23rd minute. U-20 starlet Dattaraj made a perfect through-pass to Philip who covered some ground and tried his luck from the top of the box, but his powerful strike rebounded off the post.
A moment later, George sent another masterpiece into the box, but this time the unmarked Philip and Alton Vaz failed to capitalize on an easy chance.
Dempo came close to scoring in the 26th minute. Shallum Pires sent a long free-kick into the box, but Joaquim Abranches’ header went over the crossbar.
After probing attacks, Sporting finally managed to double their lead in the next minute. Stendly Fernandes cut past few opponents at the top of the box and went for glory from 30-yards out to make it 2-0.
Dempo suffered another blow as their centre-back Mathew Gonsalves and left-back Shubham were injured. Their coach Samir Naik brought in Edwin Viegas and Suraj Hadkonkar to replace the injured defenders.
The Golden Eagles had their best chance in the 41st minute. Suraj nicely chested down Nickson Castanha’s lobbed pass, but his strike missed the target narrowly. A few minutes later, they had another opportunity to reduce the margin, when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. But, Sporting keeper Melroy made a diving effort to push Nickson’s goal-bound effort for a corner.
Sporting also made one change at half-time, as the injured Marcus was replaced by Sachidanand Satelkar. Whereas, Dempo coach Naik brought in Beevan D’Mello to replace U-20 striker Aman Govekar early on in the half.
Sporting keeper Melroy made another breathtaking save in the 61st minute. Nickson’s goal-bound strike was nicely fisted over the crossbar by the custodian to keep his side safe. At the other end, substitute Sachidanand had the best chance to extend their lead, but the winger shot wide from the top of the box.
Down by two goals, Dempo came out attacking and they almost won a penalty in the 68th minute. Pedro Gonsalves’ cross was handled by George in the box, but referee Prasad Surlakar overlooked the situation.
A few minutes later, Dempo came up with another swift attack . Suraj fed Joaquim in the box with a cross, but the forward’s strike was nicely blocked by keeper Melroy.
Referee Prasad once again denied a penalty to the Golden Eagles. Sporting defender George clearly pushed Joaquim in the box, but the referee once again overlooked the situation.
Dempo continued their attacks on the rivals, but could not manage to find the net. In one of these attempts, Nickson’s cross was smartly headed on by Beevan, but Sporting keeper Melroy parried it for a corner.
Dempo forward Joaquim missed a sitter in added-time. Shallum found him with a fine cross from the left flank, but the unmarked forward failed to head the ball home from close.