Richard Cardoz and Gaurav Vaigankar scored the goals for the Golden Eagles.

First half goals from Richard Cardoz and Gaurav Vaigankar helped Dempo Sports Club to register a neat 2-0 win over Churchill Brothers in the Goa Pro League match played at Duler Stadium on Saturday.

Both Dempo and Churchill Brothers made changes to their respective teams for the game. Dempo tactiician Samir Naik made several changes to his side following a defeat against FC Goa in the last match. Gaurav Vaigankar, Latesh Mandrekar, Pedro Gonsalves and Nigel Fernandes found their names in the starting XI. Whereas, Mauvin Borges, Afdal Varikkodan, Bersal Viegas and Asif Molla were the few changes in Churchill’s lineup following a narrow win over Panjim Footballers in the last match.

Churchill should have taken the lead in the second minute when Dempo defender Shallum Pires made a defensive error to clear a long clearance from Churchill keeper Debnath Mondal. But, the Churchill forward saw his strike blocked by Dempo keeper Melroy Fernandes, which was later cleared off the goalline by their defender Edwin Viegas.

However, it was just four more minutes on the clock when Dempo winger Richard Cardoz stunned the rivals, as his 35-yard scorching shot entered the top corner making it 1-0 for the Golden Eagles. The Red Machines quickly regrouped and came up with a series of attacks on the rivals. First, forward Mohammed Shahsad made a short pass to Jouston Barbosa on the edge of the box. He cut past a defender to enter the box, but his powerful shot was brilliantly blocked by Dempo custodian Melroy for a corner. A few minutes later, Jobern Cardoz nicely jelled up with defender Asif outside the box. He set him up with just the keeper to beat, but the midfielder saw his shot miss the target narrowly.

The Golden Eagles also had the best chance to double their lead in the 37th minute when Kirtikesh Gadekar made a defence-splitting through pass to Richard. He covered some ground, but instead of chipping Churchill keeper Debnath, the winger shot at the custodian.

However, they could not hold the high-flying Eagles fo long as Dempo doubled their lead in the 40th minute. A long free-kick by Shallum was brilliantly headed in from close range by Gaurav to make it 2-0 at half-time.

Dempo had two quick chances to further extend their lead. First, Richard sent a perfect corner to Gaurav who failed to keep his header on target from close range. A minute later, Richard made a pinpoint perfect through pass to Nigel in the box, but the midfielder could not make the most of the opportunity, as his shot went out for a goal-kick.

At the other end, Churchill had the best chance to reduce the margin in the 59th minute. Winger Jobern made a swift run on the right flank and curled the ball to an unmarked Rakesh Das, but the substitute forward’s goalbound strike was brilliantly blocked by Dempo keeper Melroy. The Red Machines saw another great opportunity denied by the woodwork in added-time, as Rakesh’s sparkling free-kick from distance rebounded off the upright.

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