Dempo, Sporting share spoils in 8-goal thriller

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NT NETWORK

Mapusa

Uttam Rai scored a brilliant first half hat-trick but his efforts went in vain as Dempo SC were forced to settle for a point after Sporting Clube de Goa held them to a thrilling 4-4 draw in the GFA’s Selvel Goa Professional League at Duler Stadium, here on Wednesday.

After Uttam Rai’s three-goal exploits, Desmon Pereira added the fourth as the Golden Eagles led 4-2 at the break. Gaurav Kankonkar and Kunal Kundaikar scored a goal each for the Flaming Oranje.

In the second half, Sporting came back strongly to score two more goals through Gaurav and Joel while Dempo SC played with 10 players after Kirtikesh Gadekar received marching orders.

Sporting took an early lead in the 5th minute and it came from a well executed set-piece. Myron Fernandes whipped in a perfect cross in the box from a short corner where Akeraj Martins flicked at the far post to an unmarked Gaurav Kankonkar, who nodded in to give an early advantage to Flaming Oranje.

But their joy was short-lived as three minutes later Dempo levelled terms. Shallum Pires played a long pass to Uttam Rai and the last named, with just the keeper in his sight, slotted home with a low finish.

Dempo SC were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute when Sporting defender Joel handled Pedro Gonsalves’ flicked pass in the area. Uttam made no mistake to score despite Ozen Silva diving in the right direction.

Sporting nearly got the equaliser in the 13th minute from a corner but Alton Vaz’s header came off the crossbar.

Dempo SC scored their third goal in the 27th through Desmon Pereira. Uttam Rai sent a lobbed ball in the area where Sporting’s defence failed to clear and Desmon nodded in from behind giving no chance at all to keeper Ozen Silva.

Uttam Rai completed his hat-trick in the 29th minute when he guided in Desmon’s flicked pass.

The action-filled first session saw yet another turn of events as Sporting Clube de Goa substitute Philip Odogwu was brought down in the box by Dempo’s Shallum Pires. Kunal Kundaikar slammed the roof of the net to pull back another goal for Sporting.

Dempo SC were reduced to 10 men at the hour-mark when Kirtikesh Gadekar received marching orders for his second booking of the evening. From the resultant free-kick, Sporting capitalised when Gaurav’s free kick was blocked by Melroy Fernandes however the ball rolled to Joel, who slotted home to make it 3-4.

In the 68th minute, Gaurav Kankonkar scored a cracker of a goal to bring Sporting Clube de Goa back in the game as the score was levelled 4-4.

Sporting had a glorious chance to bury the game but Philip failed to score from the face of the goal when he headed Myron’s delivery over the bar.