Micky Vaz played an important role in Bardez’s victory…
Bardez coach Armando Colaco made three changes to his side which lost to Salgaocar in the Charity Cup match as keeper Santosh Pujar made his debut in the senior team after getting promoted from the U-20 side. Caitano Viegas and Inacio Colaco were the other two changes in the team. Dempo coach Anthony De Souza fielded most of the U-17 players except Gawin Pinto, Floyd Pereira and Edwin Viegas who were part of the club’s I-League U-18 side.
Dempo started the match well and took just two minutes to march on the opponents. Larryl Mascarenhas set up a fine through pass to Stendly Fernandes in the box but Bardez defender Caitano cleared it on time. Stendly was in action again when he found himself at the receiving end of a perfect pass from Boris De Melo in the box, only to see his diagonal shot miss the target by hairline distance.
At the other end, the Pink Brigade also came up with some heartbeat-skipping chances. however, they could not manage to get the opener. First, Shubham Rao Desai’s shot from close range was brilliantly collected by keeper Gawin. A few minutes later, Bardez had another chance but Dempo custodian Gawin came to rescue his side in a similar fashion to stop Kirtikesh Gadekar’s deadly volley.
With both teams displaying some good intent early in the match, it was Bardez’s gamble that paid off. Defensive midfielder Micky Vaz saw the Dempo keeper out of position. Taking advantage of the same, he tried his luck from distance and the shot dipped into the goal making it 1-0 for the home side. Four minutes later, he almost doubled Bardez’s lead from another powerful shot but this time keeper Gawin made no mistake to push it for a corner.
Dempo took some time to gather themselves before launching waves of offence. Stendly was seen many times is the opponent’s danger area but could not manage to find the equaliser until the first half whistle from referee Sharad Naik.
Just three minutes into the second half Bardez inflated their lead through Kirtikesh. The attacking midfielder easily shot past keeper Gawin from inside the box after receiving a short pass from Micky. Before this, Micky had nicely set up Jessel Carneiro at the far post with a curling cross from the right flank but the left-back’s weak shot was easily collected by keeper Gawin. While Micky himself had another opportunity to make it 3-0 for Bardez, but his half-volley from the edge of the box went just over the crossbar.
Just after the hour mark, Dempo wasted a golden opportunity to reduce the margin as Edwin’s penalty-kick was excellently pushed away by keeper Pujar after Bardez defender Stainly D’Silva handled the ball in the box.
As the match progressed, Bardez tried to play possession football along with some deadly moves to find the third goal and they were successful in finding it when Lenston Afonso headed home from close off substitute Floyd Fernandes’ free-kick.
Just a minute before this, Dempo were reduced to ten men when Edwin was given his marching orders following his second yellow card for a rough tackle on Shubham.
After defeating the Golden Eagles, Bardez assistant coach Climax Lawrence said, “It was a much-needed win for us to boost our confidence. I was expecting more goals but we missed many of them. I am looking forward to the same result against FC Pune City in our next match.”