Dempo Sports Club started with a hum that ended into a happy song after they demolished Calangute Association 4-0 in the Goa Football Association (GFA) Professional League at Duler stadium, on Friday. With this win the Golden Eagles soared to the top of the table with fifteen points from six matches.
Pedro Gonsalves scored the brace, while Beevan D’Mello and Alber Gonsalves scored one each for the winners.
In a game that saw the Dempo lads play with authority right from the beginning, the tenor of the win would have been different had not their players bungled chances that fell on their feet. Despite the misses, the Dempo lads kept the scoreboard moving.
Dempo brought in Edwin Viegas and Velito Cruz for injured Mathew Gonsalves and Kirtikesh Gadekar whilst Mario Mascarenhas was the new man in for Calangute.
Calangute had the first peek at the Dempo goal but it was, once again, the Dempo youngsters – Rajat Harijan and Aman Govekar – who with their constant burst of speed helped the seniors dictate the pace of the game.
Calangute should have taken the lead in the early minutes when Moises D’Sa found Denson Fernandes in the goalmouth with a well-taken corner but the U-20 forward saw his header hit Dempo defender Shallum Pires before going out for a corner.
Alber Gonsalves sent a cross to Rajat Harijan in the box who headed it to Joaquim Abranches but the forward’s strike went over the crossbar from close.
A few minutes later, Nickson Castanha curled the ball to Alber in the box but the lad saw his header missed the target by a whisker.
Calangute came with a counter when Daryl Costa tried to find teammate Denson with a long ball but Dempo keeper Agnelo Gomes came out of the box to clear the danger on time.
The Golden Eagles had the best chance to take the lead in the 20th minute when Aman set up Alber with a pin-point perfect cross in the box but the winger failed to keep his strike on a target with just the keeper to beat.
However, Dempo surged ahead in the 27th minute when Pedro, after receiving a short pass from Velto Cruz, chipped the ball over the Calangute keeper, into the net, for the first goal of the evening.
Dempo gaffer Samir brought in Beevan D’Mello to replace injured Joaquim at the half time and the forward added pace to the match as Dempo made a swift attack in the very first minute of the second session. Beevan made a through pass to Aman who fired a powerful strike at the goal but his goal-bound strike hit Calangute defender Krishnanath Shirodkar and went out for a corner.
Beevan had two clear chances to double the lead for the Golden Eagles but he failed on both occasions. First, his chip shot from inside the box went over the crossbar with an empty net and a few minutes later, Nickson found him in the goalmouth with a curling cross but the ball was ballooned over.
Dempo had a couple of more opportunities in the next two minutes but Calangute custodian Sanij Bugde denied Aman and Nickson in one-on-one situations.
After probing attacks, Dempo finally extended their lead in the 65th minute when Nickson made a darting run into the Calangute box and released a cut-back to Beevan whose shot was brilliantly blocked by Calangute keeper Sanij. However the ball moved towards Pedro who slotted the ball home from 6 yards, making it 2-0.
After missing on several occasions, Beevan made it 3-0 for Dempo in the 72nd minute when substitute Suraj Hadkonkar sent a cross to Aman whose shot from close was brilliantly blocked by Calangute keeper Sanij but the rebound was smartly headed in by the forward to consolidate Dempo’s position.
Dempo had a chance to further extend their lead in the 78th minute when their substitute forward Latesh Mandrekar was in the commanding position to score but Calangute keeper Sanij once again made a brilliant block to deny the forward.
Dempo further inflated their lead in the 87th minute when Yogesh Kadam made a swift run and found Alber with a back pass and the last named made no mistake to beat the Calangute keeper from inside the box to make it 4-0.
Calangute Association has nine points from six matches and is third on the table.