The Golden Eagles moved to second in the league table…

Milagres Gonsalves scored two as Dempo Sports Club registered a comfortable 3-1 win over Churchill Brothers Sports Club in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.

Dempo were a little low on confidence after the last match defeat against Sporting where they  fell out of the race for the championship, while Churchill had managed to hold high-flying Calangute Association to a draw in their last match.

Denzil Ferrao was in-charge of the Red Machines in the absence of head coach Alfred Fernandes. He made two changes to his side bringing in Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Mildred Rebello in the starting XI. Dempo coach Mauricio Afonso made only one change as Milagres found his name in the Starting XI, replacing injured Beevan D’Mello.

The match started with attacking football from both the ends but as it progressed the match was restricted to midfield play for the first 15 minutes. The Golden Eagles were the first ones to come up with a chance when Anthony D’Souza found Milagres in the box but the striker’s powerful shot was nicely fisted over the crossbar by Churchill keeper Ricardo Cardozo. However, Milagres managed to take Dempo into an early lead when Churchill’s Mildred failed to clear Kapil Hoble’s header in the box, taking advantage of the same the striker easily tapped in the ball in the back of the nylons.

A few minutes later Dempo inflated their lead through Hayden Fernandes. The U20 midfielder made no mistake to connect Mario Mascarenhas’ perfect cross from the right. Down by two goals, Churchill regrouped and produced a series of attacks on the rivals but every time failed in the final third. First, Nicholas Fernandes shot wide from the top of the box. Next, Pankaj Sona’s header missed the target by hairline distance. Later, Nicholas was in the action again when he dribbled past two defenders to enter the box but his low shot was pushed for a corner by Dempo keeper Tyson Caiado.

Churchill had one more chance to reduce the margin when Dempo defender Mohammed Ali made a mistake trying to clear Germanpreet Singh’s back pass. Taking advantage of the same Chesterpoul got hold of a loose ball and covered some ground but failed to control his shot with only the keeper to beat.

The Golden Eagles punished them for wasting so many chances with the third goal in  first half added time. Anthony sent a curling cross in the box to well-placed Milagres who stylishly headed the ball home and made it 3-0 for the Panjim-based club.

Churchill coach Denzil brought in Ramandeep Kumar and Doyl D’Silva in place of Mildred and Leander D’Cunha to add more pace to his side but once again Dempo were the first to create a chance. Anthony found Felix Odili Chidi in the box but the Nigerian striker shot at keeper Ricardo instead of an empty goal. Felix was the culprit again for not scoring when he took charge of a loose ball just outside the box but shot wide from close range. One more chance came Dempo’s way but this time the Churchill keeper brilliantly blocked Kapil’s powerful shot. A few minutes later, Milagres had a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick but his header sailed over the crossbar from close distance off Nickson Castanha’s cross.

At the other end, Churchill managed to reduce the margin in the dying minutes of the match. Churchill defender Banpynkhrawnam N. headed between the keeper Tyson and the defenders off Nicholas’ perfect corner.  

The Dempo Coach Mauricio was happy after the full-time whistle and said, “I am happy with the result but we should have scored more goals. We did not play to be potent in the second half. Now we have lost the race for the title, we will be fighting for the second spot.”

With today’s win, Dempo moved to the 2nd place with 39 points from 18 matches, while Churchill have 13 points from the same number of outings and stand 8th in the league table.


Report by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa. A true Football enthusiast & a diehard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he’s an avid foodie.