Armando Colaco's men hammered in seven goals against the relegation-threatened visitors to emerge from their recent slump in form...Dempo SC were in goal-scoring form after having failed to score in their last three fixtures, as they beat United Sikkim FC 7-0 in a round 17 match of the I-League played at the Duler stadium in Goa, on Saturday.
Joaquim Abranches (5'), Clifford Miranda (35', 77'), Koko Sakibo (56', 59', 90+4') and Joy Ferrao (84') were the scorers of the evening for the defending champions.
Debabrata Roy was back from suspension and hence brought balance to the Dempo defense which was missing out on Mahesh Gawli due to injury. Koko Sakibo and Joaquim Abranches stared in the attack with John Menyongar on the bench.
Nathan Hall meanwhile was forced to make five changes to his squad from the one that started against Churchill Brothers last week.
The home side could have diced up the into the lead in the second minute, but Anthony Fernandes' release to Koko Sakibo on the right saw the Nigerian's shot go a whisker wide of the far post.
That opening goal for Dempo however didn't take long as Joaquim Abranches latched on to a pass played in to him in the box by Godwin Franco which the former fired home in the fifth minute.
United Sikkim goalkeeper Monotosh Ghosh was pretty much kept on his toes in the following minutes while their Mexican-American striker, John Matkin on the other side tried to test Subhasish Roychowdhury a couple of times. Dempo defender Rowilson Rodrigues was in top form as he won everything in the air.
In the 28th minute, Anthony Pereira scored a goal after the flag was already raised against him.
Anthony Pereira's cross marginally was headed wide by Climax Lawrence who flew in to meet the delivery, before USFC substitute Sonam Bhutia was spotted handling the ball by Manipuri referee Ajit Meitei while trying to clear another cross towards Clifford Miranda.
Miranda stepped up to take the spot-kick but the same hit the upright and flew into the stands. The Dempo skipper however didn't miss the next chance that came his way as Miranda sent Sakibo's pass packing to double Dempo's lead in the 35th minute.
A reflex save by Ghosh was required to deny Sakibo's header from close range after the cross came in from Abranches before the close of the first half.
Crossing over, there was an open chance for Dempo off Miranda's cross, but Pereira shot straight into the USFC defenders while Climax Lawrence was also lining up a shot.
Sakibo was not alert on another occasion to a loose ball around the six yards box as Ghosh smartly averted the danger in the 51st minute.
Dempo keeper Roychowdhury then literally dug out the ball after Nadong Bhutia headed Ashish Chetri's cross in the 56th minute, while off the counter, Sakibo scored from a Miranda cross.
Three minutes later, Sakibo scored his second and Dempo's fourth by flicking the ball above USFC keeper Ghosh on receiving a pass from Godwin Franco.
Nurudeen Salau's shot was saved by Dempo keeper Roychowdhury in the 66th minute, following which Dempo's Abranches somehow managed to shoot Miranda's goal-mouth cross above the post from insidethe six yard box in the 70th minute.
In the 77th minute, Sakibo found Miranda who had enough time to find his footing inside the rival box as the Dempo winger calmly slotted the ball past Ghosh.
Sakibo and Miranda then combined well and the latter's shot came off the USFC defense, while Dempo substitute Joy Ferrao was in the right place to pounce on the rebound to take the scoreline to 6-0.
Climax Lawrence's shot came off Ghosh who was left gasping for the ball, as Sakibo completed his hat-trick in injury time (90+4').
Dempo have hence claimed the third spot in the standings, with an equal head-to-head record with East Bengal who have a better goal difference, while United Sikkim only have 10 points to show from 16 matches.
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