Sporting Goa pip Dempo to clinch GPL title
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
The Flaming Orange won the title for the second time in three years.
Sporting Clube de Goa registered a narrow 1-0 win over second-placed Dempo Sports Club to confirm the Goa Professional League title with a match in hand. The match was played at Duler stadium on Thursday.
With this three points, Sporting has the unassailable 55 points from 21 matches, while Dempo has 44 points from 20 outings.
Sporting gaffer Mateus Costa made two changes to his side which defeated Churchill Brothers in the last match as Daryl Costa and Alston Camotio made into the cut, while Dempo coach Samir Naik made three changes following their 4-2 win over SCC Cavelossim in the previous round as Joaquim Abranches, Mario Mascarenhas and Nestor Dias were named in the starting XI.
After an end-to-end play in the first quarter, it was Sporting who came with their first potent chance of the match in the 19th minute when their winger Alston nicely curled it to Marcus Mascarenhas but Dempo custodian Agnelo Gomes stretched to his limit to clear the danger. A few minutes later, they had another chance to take the lead but Glan Martins powerful striker from distance missed the target narrowly.
Another chance went into the vain for porting in the 39th minute as this time Nigerian striker Philip Odogwu brilliantly cut past Dempo defender Shallum Pires but shot wide from inside with just keeper Agnelo at the stake.
However, in the added time, Philip brilliantly headed in from close off Marcus’ fine cross to put Sporting into the lead at the half-time.
On crossing over, Dempo had the best chance of the match to equalise in the 59th minute when Naveen Mendes nicely jelled up with Beevan D’Mello for a wall pass and found Nestor with a cut-back but the U-20 lad shot wide from inside.
A few minutes later, Sporting wasted an easy chance to double their lead when substitute Quan Gomes found Marcus with just keeper to beat but the striker headed wide from close.
Dempo wasted another opportunity in the 71st minute when substitute Suraj Hadkonkar’s powerful shot was divingly blocked by keeper Melroy Fernandes, the ball rolled to substitute Desmon Pereira but the U-20 lad shot wide with Sporting keeper completely out of position.
Sporting gaffer Mateus was happy after clinching the title for the second time in three years and said “I am happy with the performance of my team. They played a good game overall season and most importantly we are still unbeaten and looking forward to finish the season on same note against Churchill Brothers.”
Whereas Sporting President Peter Vaz said, “Our aim was to stay unbeaten in the complete season and we have achieved it with a title.”
Published: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:44 PM IST