Eelco Schattorie’s side continued their trend of beating the top sides as they downed Dempo SC 1-0 at Kalyani...
Prayag United, after usurped Mohun Bagan and East Bengal earlier in the season, defeated Armando Colaco’s side, who were down to 10-men after Debabrata Roy was sent-off, 1-0 at the Kalyani Stadium in round 14 I-League encounter on Friday afternoon. Carlos Hernandez won all three points for his side as it was his stunning free-kick which turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Prayag United made three changes to their lineup as Subrata Paul was dropped in favour of Sangram Mukherjee between the sticks, Bello Rassaq returned from suspension to replace Anupam Sarkar and Carlos Hernandez recovered from his injury to come in place of Shylo Malswamtulunga.
Dempo SC were forced to make a change as Peter Carvalho wasn’t unavailable for selection due to an injury as Godwin Franco made his way into the starting eleven.
The home side had a better share of possession but they failed to conjure up a decent chance. A couple of times Hernandez and Ranti Martins combined well but the alert Dempo defence were equal to the task.
A long ball from the Prayag half saw CK Vineeth get behind the Goan side’s defence as he controlled the ball with his first touch to set himself up for the shot which came off the woodwork, much to his disappointment in the 23rd minute.
In the 30th minute, skipper Deepak Mandal sent in a teasing cross from the right which was cleared by the Dempo rearguard for a corner-kick.
Debabrata Roy was lucky not to see a straight red for his horrendous tackle on Shankar Oraon four minutes later.
In the 42nd minute, Lalkamal Bhowmick sent in a long-ball from his own half to find Vineeth inside the box but the latter couldn’t get the batter of Valeriano Rebello.
Just before the end of the half, Clifford Miranda’s free-kick from the left saw Romeo Fernandes get a touch but the ball was hacked clear by the Prayag defenders in time.
In the second half, Dempo started well and had the first pop on goal as Romeo Fernandes cut inside and unleashed a left footed shot which Sangram Mukherjee collected well.
However Prayag soon seized control on the proceedings and it was Carlos Hernandez’s who first tested Subhasish Roychowdhury in the 53rd minute with a shot from outside the box. A couple of minutes later, Lalkamal Bhowmick found Oraon in space and the latter saw his fierce shot being thwarted by the Dempo custodian for a corner.
Around the hour mark, Mahesh Gawli cleared the ball, which was set to go in, for a corner-kick after Ranti and Roychowdhury went for the ball.
From the ensuing flag-kick, Subhasish Roychowdhury made a fine save from a Ranti Martins header to deny the opposition.
At the other end from a Clifford Miranda corner-kick, Sangram Mukherjee missed the ball altogether however Rowilson Rodrigues couldn’t get his header on target.
The Dempo goalkeeper was in top form as he pulled off a one-handed save from a right footed shot from substitute Lester Fernandez.
Carlos Hernandez was fouled and from the free-kick, Roychowdhury was once again adept in palming the ball for a corner in the 79th minute.
K.Asif picked out the run of Hernandez and sent in a ball for the Costa Rican, who clear of the Dempo defenders, chose to guide it home with his right foot but got it completely wrong in its execution.
Debabrata Roy was given marching orders by referee Pratap Singh as he picked his second yellow card of the game as he brought down Shankar Oraon.
Hernandez, won a free-kick just outside the box after making the most of a Miranda clearance, found the back of the net from the free-kick which left the Dempo players bemused.
Substitute Kayne Vincent could have scored within a minute after coming on when he was released by Ranti Martins on a counterattack. Vincent cut inside and unleashed a stinging shot which was palmed away for a corner by the Dempo custodian.
With this win, Prayag United have 17 points from 13 matches while Dempo SC are second on the table with 26 points from 13 matches.
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