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Salgaocar hold Dempo to qualify for AWES Cup semis

Written by: Ravish R Narvekar

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The Golden Eagles need a point from their next match against FC Pune City to make it to the last four.

Salgaocar FC confirmed their place in the semi-finals as they came from behind twice to hold Dempo Sports Club to an entertaining 3-3 draw in the AWES Cup 2018 match played at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, earlier today.

Salgaocar coach Levino Pereira chose to go with the same line up which stunned ISL side FC Pune City in the last match, whereas Dempo gaffer Samir Naik made only one change to his side which earned him the full points against FC Goa in the opening match, as Yogesh Kadam replaced Vineet Bugde in the starting XI.

The Green Brigade made a great start to the match as they surged ahead in the 4th minute, when the Dempo defense completely failed to clear a cross from Devendra Murgaonkar and his teammate Ronaldo Oliveira brilliantly placed the ball in the bottom corner to take Salgaocar into the lead.

Dempo refused to give in and came up with a series of attacks to find the equaliser. First, Jessel Carneiro cut past a defender and fired a powerful shot on goal, but Salgaocar custodian Jason D’Mello nicely blocked it. A few minutes later they had another chance when Latesh Mandrekar found Yogesh in a commanding position, but the winger’s shot rebounded off the post.

Another opportunity went in vain for the Blues when Jessel tried his luck with a flicked shot from the edge of the box, but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Selwyn Miranda.

The Golden Eagles finally managed to level terms on 32 minutes, when Suraj Hadkonkar sent a perfect corner to Beevan whose header was brilliantly blocked by Salgaocar keeper Jason. However, Dempo defender Olan Chandran smartly slotted the free ball into the goal to make it 1-1 for his side.

Dempo continued their attacks and took the lead within the next ten minutes, as Suraj came up with another pin-point ball to onrushing striker Beevan, whose fierce right-footer from just inside the box gave no chance to the Salgaocar shot-stopper, as Dempo went into halftime with a 2-1 lead.


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However, it was not even a minute into the second half when Salgaocar managed to make it all square. Skipper Macroy Peixoto tried his luck from distance with a long range effort, which sailed into the net making it 2-2 for the hosts.

Dempo coach Naik brought in Josley Dias to sharpen them in attack and the striker won them a penalty within a couple of minutes after coming in on, he was brought down by Salgaocar defender Stephen Alvares in the box. His teammate Naveen Mendes made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-2 for the Golden Eagles.

Stephen had a great chance to make up for his error in the 80th minute, when skipper Mackroy set him up with just the keeper to beat, but the defender shot over the crossbar. However, Ronaldo once again came to rescue the Green Brigade in the 84th, when he brilliantly tapped-in from close range off Samuel Costa’s low cross to make it 3-3 and confirm their place in the last four.

Published: Tue Sep 04, 2018 07:02 PM IST

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