Goal.com's Ayush Srivastava has a look at the contributions of the five players who were instrumental in Dempo's success this season...
Dempo SC sealed their third I-League title with a draw against their last remaining competitors East Bengal in an I-League encounter at the Fatorda stadium in Goa.
For most of this season, the Goan outfit have been one of the best teams to watch in the league, but in the match against East Bengal, they showed the discipline and resilience in defense that makes them a tough unit to beat.
And that highlights the main reason why Armando Colaco’s side are the league champions, as unlike other teams in the fray, they have quality spread right through their team.
However even in an accomplished team like Dempo, there were some individuals that really stood out, who lead their team to glory.
Goal.com has a look at the 5 players, whose contributions helped the Goan outfit seal the I-League title.
Gawli Is The Rock On Which Dempo's Defense Is Built....
Mahesh Gawli – The former Indian international defender continues to be a top performer on the domestic circuit. A leader at the back, Gawli marshals the defenders around him well and is calmness personified when the team is under pressure.
The centre-back’s astute reading of the game has been one of the main reasons why Dempo have conceded only 21 goals this season. Only Salgaocar, who have played a game lesser, have seen lesser goals scored against them.
While Cresson Antao and Rowilson Rodrigues are promising players, Colaco will be hoping that International retirement means that Gawli will be around to lead his side’s defense for a few more years to come.
Subhasish Roychowdhury – Roychowdhury has had quite a good season for the league champions this time around, re-establishing himself as one of the premiere keepers in India and winning back his place in the national setup.
Showing a safe pair of hands and dealing with aerial balls far better than he has in previous seasons, the custodian’s performances were of a consistently good level throughout the season, and it was clearly visible that his defense trusted him a lot more with every passing game, as he helped the team record several shutouts.
Theobald Has Added Class To Dempo's Midfield...
Densill Theobald – The Trinidad and Tobago international came into the team after the season was well underway, as issues related to his international clearance papers held up his debut, which he made only in January against Air India.
However the former World Cupper was an instant hit, helping the team overcome a minor blip in form, after the club registered losses against Churchill Brothers and East Bengal.
The midfielder's accomplished playmaking skills and general movement on the pitch was breathtaking at times as he and Climax Lawrence formed a high quality pair in the centre of the pitch. Easily one of classiest midfielders on display in the league this term.
Clifford Miranda – The Goan has often drawn flak for his performances for the national team eventhough he did quite well in the SAFF Championship. However on the domestic circuit, Miranda still remains a powerhouse of a winger.
Making the left wing his own, the midfielder provides power, precision and guile to Dempo’s overall play. A return of 6 goals and several assists from midfield is also a brilliant yield from an Indian midfielder.
Throughout the season, Miranda has formed a fine understanding with Debabrata Roy, and alongwith Anthony Pereira, provides greath width to Armando Colaco’s side.
The Team's Talisman...
Ranti Martins - The Nigerian striker, who is arguably the star of the team, has been a prolific goalscorer for Dempo for some time now and yet again has plundered 31 goals this season.
Capable of scoring almost at will, Ranti has yet again shown his value to this Dempo team, as he has scored more than half of the club’s goals this season, who have comfortably outscored their rivals with 56 goals this season.
Not only does he score goals, the forward has also helped set up several others for his team-mates and if, as expected, he does leave Dempo this summer, then Colaco shall have his hands full trying to find a replacement who would score half as many goals as the Nigerian.