Dempo Sports Club suffered a few anxious moments before finishing with an easy 2-0 win over newly promoted Sesa Football Academy (SFA) in the Goa Football Association (GFA) Professional League at Duler stadium on Wednesday.
Goals by Nickson Castanha and Joaquim Abranches were enough for the Golden Eagles to start with a ceaseless soar into the autumn skies.
Joaquim Abranches and Mathew Gonsalves were back in the Starting XI for the Golden Eagles after missing out for the Goa Police Cup due to state duty whilst forward Olvin Cardozo was back in the starting XI of SFA who was also away due to his commitments to Goa for the Santosh Trophy West Zone qualifier.
Dempo almost surged ahead in the 5th minute when their U-20 winger Rajat Harijan made a darting run on the wing and sent in a low cross in the box to Abranches, but his shot hit the goal post before going out for a goal kick.
Dempo frustrated their opponents with a possession play for a major part of the second session but they could not get past the Sesa citadel.
Sesa FA came alive during the later part of the first half during which time they had two great opportunities to take the lead.
First, Richard Cardoz made a short pass to Olvin at the top of the box whose goal bound strike was brilliantly blocked by the Dempo keeper Agnelo Gomes.
A few minutes later, custodian Gomes once again rescued his side. This time, defender Mathew fumbled with the ball in the box and Sesa forward Olvin took advantage of the situation only to see the Dempo keeper come out of his charge to make a smart save in a one-on-one situation.
When it looked like the first session was ending in a goalless stalemate, Sesa were denied a penalty by referee Sharad Naik when Melvin Lobo’’s shot from the top of the box hit Dempo defender Nickson Castanha’’s arm.
On crossing over, Dempo made a swift attack on their rival and Nickson found Joaquim in the box with a cross but the forward failed to keep his header on target from point-blank range.
Dempo coach Samir Naik made two substitutions in the early second half as Suraj Hadkonkar and Beevan D’’Mello replaced Aman Govekar and Pedro Gonsalves respectively. The changes brought pace in the match as Dempo made some swift attacks.
In one of these, Beevan made a beautiful through pass to Joaquim who was brought down by Sesa keeper Sapam Singh just outside the box where Nickson’’s perfect free kick gave no chance to Sesa custodian making it 1-0 for the Golden Eagles.
At the other end, the Academy Boys had a great chance when substitute striker Kunal Salgaonkar found himself with just keeper to beat from the long clearance but Dempo keeper Gomes once again came off his line to clear the danger.
Sesa FA appeared to rely on counter attacks with their midfield unable to trouble the Dempo defence from the centre. Dempo, on the other hand, kept looking to break the Sesa defence with lobs on the flanks, crosses in and through passes.
Beevan put Joaquim beautifully through towards the closing stages of the match for the latter to finish with a clinical 2-0