Dempo’s English striker Rohan Ricketts makes his debut as Japanese Sueoka scores the all-important goal
MAPUSA: Dempo Sports Club began their Kingfisher Goa Pro League campaign with a solitary goal win over minnows Goa Velha Sports Club at Poriat grounds Calangute on Wednesday.
Considered as the underdogs, Goa Velha deserve applause for their spirited performance, especially in the first half. The young squad created several opportunities but a goal failed to materialise. After a barren first session, Dempo exerted immense pressure. Yet, Goa Velha managed to keep their rivals at bay.
Dempo’s English striker Rohan Ricketts made his debut in the game. The former Arsenal striker combined well with Japanese Ryuji Sueoka in the 55th minute, but the Englishman’s firm grounder was neatly collected by Goa Velha keeper Siddesh Morje.
Meanwhile, Ryuji Sueoka continued to find some scoring opportunities but the former Salgaocar man failed to get his finishing touches right. Goa Velha had just one opening created in the 72nd minute when Saprem Diukar’s well measured cross was beautifully headed by Royden Camelo, only to see a remarkable save from Dempo’s dependable keeper Tyson Caiado.
The Federation Cup runners-up finally brought an end to their ambitions of scoring in the 75th minute when Ryuji Sueoka scored past an onrushing Goa Velha keeper after being intelligently fed by experienced defender Samir Naik.
In the dying stages of the match, Dempo could have easily pumped in another two to three goals. However, poor finishing and a little lack of luck denied Dempo a big win. Sueoka squandered an easy scoring opportunity from handshaking distance. Substitute Romeo Fernandes hit the upright and then also joined the guilty party by shooting in the hands of the rival keeper in a