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Dempo’s Sueoka seals Churchill’s fate
October 7, 2012
MARGAO: Dempo started their title defense on a positive note getting the better of arch-rivals Churchill Brothers 2-1 in the lung opener of I-League
at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Saturday. Dempo led 1-0 at half time.
Churchill’s Bikramjit Singh is surrounded by a swarm of
Dempo players at an I-League match at Nehru
Stadium, Fatorda, Saturday.
Churchill, which enjoyed 53 percent possession compared to Dempo’s 47, worked on fitness and speed. They put Dempo on the mat for a greater part of the opening session with their actions riveting around Gabonese striker Henri Autochet and Brazilian playmaker Roberto Mendes da Silva. Both breached the Dempo defense but were unlucky in not finding the target.
Dempo went in the lead in the very 2nd minute when captain Clifford Miranda picked up the ball from man-of-the-match Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka and fired a low cross. Churchill’s goalkeeper Sandip Nandi fumbled with the collection, allowing the ball to slip off his hands for lurking Sueoka to fire home.
Aftetr Dempo launched a couple of sorties but without any effect, Churchill nearly found the equalizer in the 6th minute when midfielder Tomba Singh found Beto on top of the box. The last named relayed it to Steven Dias who however, was thwarted by goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.
Churchill did create some opportunities but Henri and Beto failed to get past the Dempo custodian.
Dempo who chose the traditional 4-4-2 formation saw Rohan Rickets sending Anthony Pereira through, but before the latter could do any damage, goalkeeper Nandi collected the ball. Later, Dempo were unlucky when Anthony Pereira’s left footer crashed onto the right post off Climax with Nandi beaten.
Churchill had a chance to equalise, but Beto headed out a flag kick taken by Steven Dias.
Crossing over, Dempo exhibited greater purpose but it was Churchill who came up with the equaliser in the 47th.
Playmaker Tomba Singh’s snap shot was fisted away by goalkeeper Chowdhury and Beto, without wasting any time, punted it home.
Dempo’s match-winner came in the 75th minute when Anthony Pereira’s long pass was smartly connected by Sueoka, who outsmarted two Churchill defenders on the run.
Dempo kept up the pace and Anthony Pereira’s try was parried by goalkeeper Nadi. Off the rebound Joaquim Abranches’s rasping shot was fisted away for an abortive flag kick.
Dempo chief coach Armando Colaco was elated with three points. “The boys played well and though there were moments of uncertainty, they regrouped. I am pleased with Rohan Rickets’ performance.”
“It was a bad day. With better luck we could have won by at least three goals. We could have been happy with a draw,” said Churchill coach Mariano Dias.
Sueoka received the man-of-the-match award from Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado in the presence of MLAs Benjamin D’Silva and Caitu Silva.
Earlier, Sports Minister Ramesh Twadkar was introduced to the teams by Shrinivas Dempo. Chief Secretary B. Vijayan, AIFF secretary Khusal Das, SAG Executive Director Elvis Gomes, V M Prabhudessai, DSYA director were amongst those present.