Ricketts’ winner for Dempo

It is often said that an experienced coach can turn the scales in favour of his team with proper tactics and reading of the game even if the team has young players in its ranks.

This is exactly what happened at Nehru stadium, Fatorda, Monday when Dempo SC managed to register a 2-1 against a spirited Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim despite fielding young players to earn full points in the Goa Professional League.

Though there was no score in the first half of play when Cavelossim saw more of the ball, Dempo had their own plans and held on to snatch a win in the second half.

Dempo scored through Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo (55th minute) and English player Rohan Ricketts who scored the winning goal in the added time of five minutes of the second session.

As a matter of fact, both the teams were evenly balanced in the first half and to a large extent in the second session too. The complexion of the game changed only when Dempo coach Armando Colaco brought in Romeo Fernandes, Joy Ferrao and Joe Rodrigues in the last few minutes of the second session, replacing Niclau Borges, Jessel Carneiro and Nickson Castana, respectively. These changes brought in the desired result for the Dempo when in the last few minutes of play they scored the winning goal.

For most part of the play, Dempo played with young players like Tyson Caido guarding the goal, while others who made it on the roster today were Shallum Pires, Cliffton Gonsalves and Aniston Fernandes among others who did a fairly good job.

Aniston Fernandes in particular worked very hard as a midfielder and sent good passes to experienced players like Koko Sakibo who failed to find the mark twice in the second session. Along with Rohan Ricketts, Aniston Fernandes sprayed the ball well in both the sessions of play.

To give full credit to Cavelossim, this young team too matched their famed opponents in every measure and could have come out victorious had they utilised the chances they had in both the sessions of play. Just a couple of minutes before the final hooter, they did score but the goal was disallowed and this made the Cavelossim fans furious in the stands and the tense spell lasted for the next seven minutes of play when the referee was booed by the spectators.

As such in this kind of a situation, the referee had to be escorted to the dressing room by seeking police help. However, no untoward incident occurred, though a large crowed did stay behind after the match towards the referees dressing room outside.

Cavelossim’s Perryson Rebello, Tunard Fernandes, Raymond Fernandes and Agnelo D’Souza gave a good account of themselves, giving torrid time for Dempo defenders. However, Samir Naik stood tall in the defence for the Dempo team and quelled most of the dangerous moves that Cavelossim strikers made, which almost turned into goals.

On quite of few occasions Cavelossim keeper Jason D’Mello brought off fine saves and as the time ticked by it almost appeared that Cavelossim were in no mood to succumb under any pressure. But that had not to be as the match unfolded in the last few minutes of play in Dempo’s favour.

But Dempo coach Armando Colaco had his own ideas to fetch the win and he did it when he brought in the players he knows would do well in the upfront. No surprise Joy Ferrao, Romeo Fernandes and Joe Rodrigues made their appearance felt.

Dempo went into the lead when Rohan Ricketts smartly passed the ball to Koko Sakibo on the edge of the box and the Nigerian striker sent a stiff grounder to beat the Cavelossim keeper to bring cheer in the Dempo camp.

But the joy was lived short as within ten minutes, Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim restored parity.

Parryson Rebello moved deep inside the Dempo territory and once he reached on the top of the box, passed the ball to striker Fredrick Endro who unleashed a powerful shot to send the ball to the far corner of Dempo nets with Tyson Caiado having no clue of the ball at all.

It appeared that the match then was headed for a draw, but in the five minutes of added time, both the teams stepped up pressure and were very close in finding the mark as there were actions at both the ends during which time, there were some tense moments.

In the added time, Koko Sakibo moved speedily and unleashed a good shot, but the Cavelossim keeper managed to parry the ball and the rebound was connected smartly by Rohan Ricketts to score his first goal on Goan soil.

In another match played at Raia panchayat grounds, Salgaocar FC were shocked by Sesa Football Academy 3-1.

A youthful Sesa FA striker Chukwadi Chukwuma scored twice while the other goal was scored by Guirish Naik.

Salgaocar reduced the margin through K M Mitei. [NT]