Panjim Footballers and Dempo share the spoils in GPL
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Irish midfielder Fady Riad scored for the capital city side on his debut, while Joaquim Abranches scored a brace for the Golden Eagles.
A stoppage-time goal from Nigerian midfielder Alphonse Shako helped Panjim Footballers to hold Dempo Sports Club to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier in the evening.
With this draw, Dempo dropped two important points in the title race with Sporting Clube de Goa as they have now 28 points from 13 matches, while Panjim has 10 points from 12 matches.
Panjim coach Savio Vaz made only one change to his side which lost to Calangute Association in the last match as newly signed Irish Midfielder Fady Riad found his name in the starting XI. Whereas Dempo who had defeated defending champions Salgaocar FC in the last match also had few changes to their side as Mario Mascarenhas, Gaurish Naik, Joaquim Abranches and Desmon Pereira replaced Naveen Mendes, Nestor Dias, Beevan D’Mello and Yogesh Kadam in the playing XI.
After midfield play in the first 20 minutes, Dempo came close to scoring when Joaquim dangerously moved inside the box and set up Latesh Mandrekar in front of the empty goal but the forward failed to take advantage of the good opportunity.
At the other end, Panjim came with series of attacks as Akeraj Martins made a superb through pass to Irish midfielder Fady but the midfielder failed to keep his shot on target.
A few minutes later, Panjim duo once again combined well in a move but like the last time, Irish midfielder once again failed to capitalise, as this time he shot on Dempo keeper Agnelo Gomes instead of easily putting in the goal.
After wasting two easy chances, Fady finally was successful to find the net when he made an individual effort to snatch the ball from Dempo defender Shallum Pires and easily dribbled past keeper Agnelo before finishing the ball in the empty net to make it 1-0 for Panjim in the 45th minutes.
However, Dempo did not take too long to equalise as Joaquim scored from the spot after Panjim defender Clive Miranda handled his goalbound shot inside the box to give away the penalty kick.
Unlike in the first half, Panjim started the second session on a bright note and marched many time on rivals. They had the best chance when Akeraj was left with just keeper to beat but Dempo experienced defender Mathew Gonsalves brilliantly blocked him to keep his side safe.
The next few minutes saw, Akeraj creating two more opportunities but first his curling shot from the outside the box missed the target by few inches, while his another goalbound shot was brilliantly paired for safety by Dempo keeper Agnelo.
Dempo punished them for wasting easy chances as they took the lead in the 69th minutes when Joaquim scored his second with a diving header off Suraj Hadkonkar’s curling cross.
Joaquim had a chance to complete his hat-trick when he found himself at the receiving end of Suraj’s brilliant through pass but the striker chose to go for the glory from distance only to see it go wide.
Panjim got the glories chance to equalise in the added time when Dempo defender Shallum conceded a free-kick just outside the box where Fady’s shot was dined by the woodwork but the rebound was blasted into the back of the nylons by Nigerian Alphonse Shako to make it all square for his side.
Published: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:13 PM IST