The two Goan rivals played out a 1-1 draw as Jeje Lalpekhlua cancelled out Darryl Duffy's opener, but Dempo are still in the hunt for their first win of the season...Dempo SC battled back to hold Salgaocar FC to a 1-1 draw in an I-League round four match played at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa, Goa, on Wednesday.
Darryl Duffy gave Derrick Pereira's side the lead in the 40th minute, but Jeje Lalpekhlua cancelled Salgaocar's advantage with a strike in the 81st minute.
Derrick Pereira had named the same first eleven for Salgaocar's third successive fixture, while Dempo assistant Mauricio Afonso had made one change to his starting line-up with Samir Naik replacing Shallum Pires.
The in-form Salgaocar started the brighter of the two sides, with Claude Gnakpa coming up with a strong drive from a Francis Fernandes throw-in early on, but the ball came off the upright to raise an early alarm for the Golden Eagles in the sixth minute, while moments later it was Beto who received a low cross from the right by Jeje Lalpekhlua in the Salgaocar area and Brazilian missed the far post by a whisker.
Salgaocar youngster Clifton Dias then released Gilbert Oliveira on the right, who made a blistering run and managed to cut past Samir Naik but at the same time let the ball run into the hands of Dempo keeper Roychowdhury.
Salgaocar's Gnakpa presented Darryl Duffy with a wonderful and easy chance in the box, but the Scot with absolutely no control on his shot, sent it wide in the 25th minute before putting down another golden opportunity four minutes later after getting at the end of a goal-mouth cross by Nicolau Colaco.
Pereira's side eventually broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Nicolau Colaco went down the right wing and put the ball back for Duffy, who placed the ball past Roychowdhury.
The second half started with Dempo having the first bite of the cherry with Jeje’s shot missing the target by not much. However thereafter Salgaocar relied on counterattacks but none of their moves came together.
Karanjit Singh came to his team’s rescue as he dived to his left to deny Jeje after the striker unleashed a venomous shot from his left foot.
Dempo stepped up a few gears and piled on the pressure on Salgaocar. Colosimo’s lofted ball was deflected off the post by Karanjit in his attempt to tip it over the bar. Peter Carvalho should have done better as he fluffed his chance from handshaking distance.
Karanjit was once again called into action when Jeje’s header was kept out by the custodian from a corner-kick.
The equalizer eventually came in the 81st minute when Beto’s cross saw Miranda’s attempt take a deflection and fall for Jeje Lalpekhlua. The Mizoram striker did well to nutmeg Rahul Kumar and Karanjit Singh and slot the ball home in what was a top finish.
Dempo could have seized full points from the tie when substitute Leny Pereira brought down Jeje on the edge of the box but the ensuing free-kick by Beto took a deflection off the wall and miss the target.
It was indeed a game of two halves as Salgaocar paid for the chances they missed while Dempo looked a different side with Jeje at the heart of every good move.
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