Dempo SC 1-2 Churchill Brothers SC – A Controversial Kovacic Goal And A Henry Strike Puts An End To The Blue's Winning Streak
Surrounded by controversy and action, it's been an entertaining Sunday evening as suggestions to have the goal-line technology only get stronger...
By Anselm Noronha
Antun Kovacic's strike gave the winners a 21st minute lead which was extended by Henry Antchouet at the end of the first half, while Selwyn Fernandes scored a late consolation goal for Dempo.
Armando Colaco was without a number of his key players who are with the Indian national team which handed a starting opportunity to Rowilson Rodrigues and Brian Mascarenhas, while Koko Sakibo paired with Ranti Martins upfront.
Manuel Gomes fielded his full strength team with the inclusion of Mohammed Rafi who played just behind Henry Antchouet, despite missing the likes of Gouramangi Moirangthem, Steven Dias, Lalrindika Ralte and Dharmaraj Ravanan.
Ranti and Koko weren't given much space in the Churchill half and on the other side, it was Beto, Antchouet and Rafi who worked well to earn their side the corner from which the opening goal was scored.
Beto’s set-piece saw Kovacic's shot take a deflection off Laxmikant Kattimani to hit Valeraino Rebello on the line before the Dempo custodian held on to the ball.
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Referee Pratap Singh had a brief discussion with his assistant leaving Armando Colaco’s side disappointed as the goal was controversially allowed to stand.
About ten minutes later, Rowilson Rodrigues was unlucky when the former Churchill Brothers defender’s shot off Joe Rodrigues’ flag kick came off the cross bar.
On the other side, Antchouet also hit the post, although the goal if scored wouldn’t have stood as Bineesh Balan’s initial pass to Raju Yumnam was already ruled off-side.
Minutes later, Antchouet missed another opportunity off Rafi’s lob in the box after doing well to deceive Cressan Antao. The Gabonese striker’s shot on goal was rather feeble for Katimani.
However, before the end of the first half, Henry Antchouet’s shot took a wicked deflection off Dempo defender Valeriano Rebello leaving Kattimani to pick the ball from his own net. The move started from the back when Denzil Franco released his team-mate on the counter.
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Dempo started the second half with two changes, bringing in Selwyn Fernandes in place of Valeriano Rebello and replacing Joe Rodrigues with Joy Ferrao.
In the 49th minute, Rowilson got close to heading home as the Dempo defender rose above Churchill’s Denzil Franco but wasn’t able to find the target.
The proceedings continued with a string of squandered chances by Koko Sakibo who failed to find the mark from at least three certain chances throughout the second half.
Sakibo was the culprit for Dempo as he missed sitters including two open chances in the 73rd and 83rd minutes after being set-up by Brian Mascarenhas and Peter Carvalho respectively.
Churchill Brothers also had some decent chances at Antchouet and Rafi’s disposal, the latter’s powerful shot in the 66th minute not too far away from giving his side a third.
Rowilson Rodrigues also got close to reducing the margin for his side, but his header off Godwin Franco’s corner kick hit the outside netting.
Both teams made attacking changes at about the same time as Churchill’s ND Opara replaced Henry Antchouet and Romeo Fernandes was introduced in place of Brian Mascarenhas for Dempo.
The Dempo substitute almost immediately forced rival keeper Felix D’Souza into action.
Opara was also found at the helm of action, but the former ONGC striker took too long to get his shot away as Kattimani latched on to the ball in the Dempo box.Romeo’s shot was saved by D’Souza before the former set-up Selwyn Fernandes to score Dempo’s consolation goal in stoppage time.
With this win, Manuel Gomes' side moves up to the second spot while destroying Dempo's all win record in this season.
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