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Dempo SC held by FC Goa

Nagoa: Despite dominating the play in both sessions, Dempo Sports Club failed to capitalise on their chances that saw them split the points with FC Goa after their encounter in the Hero India Sub-Junior Youth League ended in a 1-1 draw at Nagoa grounds, Verna on Sunday.

After a goalless first half in which Dempo SC had complete domination, Naythan Coutinho struck in the 39th minute to give Dempo SC the lead but seven minutes later FC Goa hit back as Grenville Nunes levelled the score in the 46th minute.

Playing with a lot of confidence, agility and exhibiting good positional play, the young Dempo SC lads made deep penetration inside the FC Goa box, almost for the entire first half but somehow failed to find the mark. Dempo SC’s striking line comprising Leethan Silveira and Co were not able to convert as their attempts were rather haphazard.

The young Golden Eagles dazzled with their tiki-taka style of football as they distributed the ball well with the entire team functioning like a well-oiled machine. Medio Rabi Pun, in particular, impressed with his quick footwork and body feints, but when it mattered most he too — just like his teammates — could not find the mark.

It was their defence comprising Dadapir Adoor, Reezvon Fernandes, Siddell Araujo, Grenville Nunes and Velrose Dias that rescued FC Goa from crumbling under tremendous pressure as they came in the way of Dempo SC strikers. Their keeper Micky Dias also had a good day under the bar as he displayed fine judgment of the ball, time and again.

For FC Goa, medio Prachit Gaonkar was easily the pick of the lot as he outshone the rest with his little body seen all along the ground trying and distributing the ball well. Prachit clearly lacked adequate support from his colleagues, as a result of which FC Goa could hardly take the ball inside the Dempo SC box, except five minutes before the half time.

In the 30th minute, FC Goa’s Velrose Dias had a glorious chance off a nice cross with Dempo SC keeper Rick Serrao at his mercy almost in a one-to-one situation. But much to the dismay of his teammates and supporters he shot the ball wide. The script of the match changed drastically in the second session with both the teams matching each other stroke for stroke, though Dempo SC had a slight upper hand over their rivals.

Dempo SC went into the lead in the second half through Naythan Coutinho who after collecting a through pass right near the centre circle from defender Brenden Pereira dribbled three rival defenders and after entering the box unleashed a powerful shot that landed into the far corner of FC Goa nets.

Stunned by the reverse, FC Goa hit back quickly when Grenville Nunes sent a scorching left footer off a nice cross from Mervin Fernandes to beat Dempo SC keeper Rick Serrao hands down.

The match then wore on with Dempo SC having most of the chances as compared to their opponents FC Goa who too had their share of scoring opportunities which however went unutilised.

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