Dempo stay atop with Shillong rout
Dempo Sports Club rose to the challenge of a difficult and unpredictable team, Shillong Lajong FC, to register a 4-1 win to consolidate on the top of the league after their fifth round match in the I-League at Nehru Stadium, here on Saturday.
Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka scored two goals, one which gave the lead in the 44th minute and then went on to score his second through a penalty in the 90+1 minutes. Clifford Miranda found the mark in the 50th minute while Anthony Pereira scored in the added-on time to help Dempo SC carve out a big score. Jibon Singh, the Shillong Lajong defender reduced the margin in the 73rd minute.
Joaquim Abranches missed from close range as early as the fifth minute and then Anthony Pereira’s blistering attempt struck the crossbar. But it was not until the stroke of half-time that Dempo managed to take the lead.
A long ball from Dempo’s half saw Anthony and Climax Lawrence interchange nicely. Climax then controlled the ball and essayed a cross into the heart of the Lajong goalmouth where Sueoka was on hand to head home.
In the second session, Lajong came out strong and Lalramluaha Hmar missed to open the account. At the other end, in the 50th minute, Dempo made it 2-0 when a quick move initiated by Peter Carvalho saw Anthony cross into the goalmouth where Sueoka headed the ball only to find the post. He again shot from the rebound which was saved brilliantly by Lajong goalkeeper Lalthuammawia, but the next rebound fell nicely at the feet of Clifford, who scored with ease.
When all seemed lost, Lajong showed they were still in the game with a goal in the 73rd minute. The dangerous Lalramluaha was in the thick of action, and this time he beat goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury with a brilliant in-stepper after being fed by Sushil.
Despite a couple of more attacks on goal, the equaliser eluded them. Instead, it was Dempo who scored two more goals as the hosts first won a penalty which Sueoka easily converted in the 87th minute of play and then Anthony also added his name to the scoresheet with a simple tap in added time. [NT]