Dempo hammer four past Viva Kerala


Margao : Dempo Sports Club started 2008 just the way their coach wanted to with a resounding 4-0 win over Viva Kerala in the ninth round of the I-League football tournament at Nehru Stadium here Friday.

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Goals from Valerian Rebello (36th), Ranty Martins (61st), Clifton Gonsalves (63rd) and Beto (71st) enabled Dempo to get 21 points and open up a two-point lead over nearest rivals JCT at the top of the points table.

Dempo coach Armando Colaco had spoken of a “fantastic start” to 2008. And at the end of the 90-minute no-contest, he could not have asked for more.

But, right at the start, Dempo missed so many gilt-edge chances that Armando was left wondering whether his strikers had left their shooting boots at home.

Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi started the missing saga in the fifth minute itself, shooting wide off the target with only the rival goalkeeper begging for mercy.

Anthony Pereira then missed a sitter after Climax Lawrence’s defence splitting pass had left the Viva Kerala defence rooted.

Samir Naik also missed to open the account after Viva Kerala goalkeeper V Nelson had difficulty in keeping away a wicked Anthony Pereira in-stepper. The International winger’s shot of the rebound hit the side netting with Nelson completely out of the frame.

The Viva Kerala defence finally succumbed to sustained pressure from the home side in the 36th minute.

Anthony, later voted Man of the Match, saw Valerian Rebello unmarked just outside the danger and floated a corner to the winger. An unmarked Valerian took a blinder that brushed Viva Kerala’s Badmas Babatunde and sailed into the nylons.

An amazing finish from the narrowest of angles by Ranty Martins saw Dempo double their lead in the 61st minute.

Clifton Gonsalves (19), son of Goa’s legendary striker Camilo Gonsalves, was introduced for the first time by Armando Colaco. And the promising youngster wasted no time in adding his name to the scoresheet.

Clifton – replacing Edeh Chidi – collected a ball from Climax, hoodwinked Viva’s Ghanaian defender George Tutu then drew the rival goalkeeper out to score one of the most imaginative goal in the I-League.

Beto then headed Dempo’s fourth goal as Viva struggled to keep pace with their superior rivals.