PANAJI: Dempo Sports Club registered a hard-fought 1-0 win over Vasco Sports Club in Goa Football Association’s Selvel Goa Professional League at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Wednesday.
Desmon Pereira scored the match-winner in the 77th minute.
The Golden Eagles survived an early scare in the second minute when their backline of Danstan Fernandes and Darrel Mascarenhas failed to clear a long ball leaving Vasco’s Francisco Fernandes straight on goal. The former India international covered some distance and upon entering the box, however shot wide with just the goalkeeper at his mercy.
Dempo SC came up with a quick attack in the first quarter where Pedro Gonsalves got past a couple of the Port-Towners defenders and tried his luck, but his shot was stopped by Vasco SC keeper Risven Fernandes. The ball travelled to Uttam Rai, who managed to keep the attack going by sending the ball back into the box with an overhead kick, but Richard mistimed his attempt.
In the 25th minute, Dempo SC probably had the best chance of the game when Uttaim threaded a defence-splitting pass to Richard Cardozo, who just had the keeper to beat, but instead the winger hit the side-netting.
Risven came up with another splendid save to deny Uttam from close when he nodded a Richard’s corner-kick. Later, Vasco SC were lucky not to concede when Pidroy Carvalho’s clearance attempt deflected off Richard and sailed over the bar.
Vasco SC should have taken the lead just before the breather when Denil Rebello sent in a dangerous cross from the right and the ball found Alson Fernandes, who had all the time and space to score. But he shockingly shot wide from a six-yard distance.
Soon after restart, Dempo were awarded a free-kick just outside the box when Pedro was tripped by Pidroy in what seemed to be a foul inside the box. But the referee decided to give a free-kick. Pedro stepped up and bent the free-kick, which sailed over the crossbar.
Risven came up with two quick saves with just 20 minutes left to keep the scores level. First he denied Dempo’s Suraj Hadkonkar free-kick and then he came up with a point-blank save to deny Ariston Costa’s effort from inside the six-yard box.
At the other end, Vasco squandered a chance when Mathew Colaco made a darting run into the rival box and upon reaching the byline squared the ball into the area to an unmarked Desmon Gama, whose shot ballooned over the crossbar.
Dempo finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when Suraj sent in a dangerous cross into the box, which the Vasco SC keeper Risven could not get enough touch on and the ball travelled to Desmon Pereira. The last-named headed into an open goal for the winner.