Defending champions Dempo Sports Club rallied from behind to register an emphatic 3-1 victory with goals coming from the boots of Ryuji Sueoka (36th), Peter Carvalho (76th) and Climax Lawrence(78th)
MARAGO: Dishing out their best, defending champions Dempo Sports Club came from behind to register a 3-1 win against highly rated Prayag United FC to take a comfortable lead at the top of the table in the 10th round of the I-League at Nehru stadium, Fatorda-Margao on Saturday.
After Nigerian striker and former Dempo player Ranti Martins provided the lead for the Kolkata-based team in the 21st minute of play, through a silly goal, Dempo rallied from behind to register an emphatic 3-1 victory with goals coming from the boots of Ryuji Sueoka(36th), Peter Carvalho(76th) and Climax Lawrence(78th).
With this win, Dempo have now collected 25 points while Prayag United are on 14 points in ten matches. East Bengal are following Dempo closely with 21 points, occupying the 2nd spot while Churchill Brothers are on the 3rd spot so far with 19 points and are yet to play their 10th round matches.
The first half of play was contested on even terms but in the second session, Dempo were at their best and finished the match in a matter of 2 minutes as goals came quickly in the 76th and 78th minute of play. And, it was the Englishman who won the man-of-the-match award for his scintillating display that played a major role in the great victory that Dempo carved out today.
Dempo could have done much better and could have scored at least two more goals, one through a penalty which the Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka failed to guide into the nets and the other which was an open chance which medio Peter Carvalho shot wide from close with a gaping goal in front of him with the rival keeper Subrata Paul out of his position.
While Prayag well to contain the champion team in the first half for at least 29 minutes of play by not letting the Goan side to settle down by using a lot of physical strength which youngsters like Romeo Fernandes could not cope with, the Dempo team was completely transformed side with the exit of Romeo as Joaquim Abranches began to make a lot of difference after his appearance in the 30th minute.
The second session as such was dominated by the Dempo team as Clifford Miranda, Joaquim Abranches and Rohan Ricketts gave a very good account of themselves with their crosses and fantastic distribution of the ball which kept the Kolkata team on the back foot most of the time.
While Prayag’s Ranti tried to put his weight around in trying to make his point across by even ranting at the referee, one was interested to know who would prevail with a better game among the foreign recruits, particularly the Nigerian Ranti or the Englishman Ricketts. And, if one noticed the kind of fantastic play of Ricketts, clearly he was way ahead of the Nigerian in ball control, classic footwork that made the rival defence tremble and over all his calmness and composure which made a lot of difference between the two.
Even the former world-cupper, the Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez of Prayag was nowhere as compared to the play that Ricketts displayed which he proved while showing his presence felt at almost every move that Dempo made in the goals they scored and also in those which they missed out too. Ricketts was therefore rightly declared as the man-of-the-match today.