Goals from Rohan Ricketts and Ryuji Sueoka inspire Dempo to a hard fought win against SalgaocarDempo SC re-claimed the top standing on the league table as they edged out Salgaocar FC by a scoreline of 2-1 in the ninth round of the I-League played at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, on Saturday evening.
Sean Rooney's goal (59') for Salgaocar FC was sandwiched in-between strikes from Rohan Ricketts (29') and Ryuji Sueoka (84') for Dempo.
David Booth made two changes in the Salgaocar line-up, being forced to replace his injured players Luciano Sobrosa and Francis Fernandes with Augustin Fernandes and Anthony Barbosa respectively, while Australian striker Sean Rooney continued in attack.
Armando Colaco, on the other side, persisted with Godwin Franco in the midfield ahead of Climax Lawrence who started on the bench. Rohan Ricketts was given a forward role along-side Ryuji Sueoka, while Joaquim Abranches played in-behind the strikers.
Meanwhile, Dempo goalkeeper Subhasish Roychowdhury, Clifford Miranda and Anthony Pereira, who all sustained injuries in the previous match against Mohun Bagan, were replaced by Laxmikant Kattimani, Ricketts and Romeo Fernandes.
Salgaocar's Quinton Jacobs picked the first booking of the match for simulation to the slightest of touches of rival defender Mahesh Gawli in the Dempo box, while the Namibian wasted a couple of early moves.
Besides a few skills by Ricketts, and some good interceptions by Mahesh Gawli, the Dempo players could be critical of themselves for giving the ball away to the opponent easily.
Rohan Ricketts capitalised on a poor pass from Salgaocar midfielder Randeep Singh and drove the ball into the net at the far post in the 29th minute. Sueoka could have doubled the lead but was denied by the framework.
Salgaocar began pushing the Dempo defense after the change of ends but the trailing side were somehow too shy to take a shot.
The equaliser however did come in the 59th minute when Sean Rooney rose to the occasion, as the Salgaocar striker's header found the target, courtesy a floater sent in from the right by Milagres Gonsalves.
Four minutes later, Rahul Kumar was guilty of missing the target from six yards in the Dempo box after Rooney did well to send in a cross.
Dempo regained the lead in the 84th minute as Sueoka climbed over Salgaocar defender Augustin Fernandes to head the ball home after Ricketts did well to find him with a cross from the left.
Salgaocar then poured forward in hunt of an equaliser, but Colaco's side held on to register a vital win which saw them climb to the top of the table.
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