BY ATANU MITRA
East Bengal thrashed Dempo Sports Club 5-1 in an I-League encounter played at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Sunday evening in round eight.
This was the third time Ranti Martins scored 5 or more goals in a single National Football League (NFL) or I-League match. He had scored 6 goals on May 30, 2011 when Dempo mauled Air India 14-0 in one of the most one-sided matches in Indian club football history. He scored five again on 10th November, 2012 for the United Sports Club (then called Prayag United) as the Purple Brigade hammered United Sikkim 10-1 in an I-League tie.
Odafa Okolie is the only other player to have scored 5 or more goals in an I-League match and he has done it twice. He had scored six in Churchill Brothers' 9-1 win against Vasco on 20th February, 2009. More recently he scored five goals for the Red Machines' 6-0 victory against Arrows on 3rd January, 2011.
The 5-1 loss to East Bengal equalled the worst ever defeat for Dempo in the I-League era. The Golden Eagles, who have won the competition the highest number of times, were beaten by an identical scoreline by Pune FC back on 15th December, 2012. James Moga (2), Arata Izumi, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Douhou Pierre all had their names on the scoresheet while Joaquim Abranches, who came on as a late substitue for East Bengal on Sunday scored the only goal for Dempo.
This was Dempo's worst defeat against East Bengal in the last 10 years. The Red and Golds scored five against the Goan giants for the last time back on 26th March, 2006 when they won the fixture 5-3. The match is mostly remembered for a brace by East Bengal defender Debabrata Roy, who came on as a substitute. While the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia and Syed Rahim Nabi were on the score-sheet for the hosts, Bolaji Olubiyi and Ranti Martins (2) scored for the Goan side.
Eelco Schattorie started his journey at United Sports Club with the aforementioned 10-1 victory against United Sikkim. He opened his East Bengal chapter in I-League with one of most thumping away victories recorded by the Kolkata club in the history of the competition.
Ranti Martins now has 195 goals in the I-League and National Football League (NFL) combined and leads the scorers' list this season also with 10 goals to his name.
Co-incidentally, Eelco Schattorie had to face an Arthur Papas coached side in his second match after taking charge at United Sports also. The outcome was no different with United winning 2-1 aided by the goals by C.K.Vineeth and Lalkamal Bhowmick while Narayan Das scored the first ever goal of his I-League career.
This is not the worst defeat for an Arthur Papas coached side against an Eelco Schattorie managed side. United humbled Pailan Arrows 5-0 in an IFA Shield match played at Siliguri on 5th March, 2013. Carlos Hernandez, who scored the only goal for Dempo on Sunday, opened the scoring for the Kolkata side, while Ranti Martins (2), Shankar Oraon and Kayne Vincent also joined the party.
The last time the two coaches had faced each other, the Dutchman once again had the last laugh as United defeated Arrows 4-1 in the I-League. Kayne Vincent (2), Mohammed Rafique and Ranti Martins scored for the Purples while Pranoy Halder pulled one back in the 99th minute of the match which saw Prabir Das collapse on the floor under extreme heat.
This is also the first time East Bengal has scored 5 goals against a Goan side in the I-League era.