Dempo beat Pax for third straight win; SBT down Bhratri Sangha
Dempo Sports Club, Goa, collected full points from their third round match in the Second Division National Football League (final phase), beating Pax of Nagoa, also from Goa, 2-0 in Pondicherry on Saturday.
The victory took Dempo's points tally to nine while Pax have only four after three matches.
In the second match of the evening, State Bank of Travancore drubbed Bhratri Sangha, Kolkata 3-1
In an evenly contested match, Dempo opened their account in the sixth minute through striker William Abekka. He collected a fine centre from Sameer, from the right flank, and took a shot at goal. Pax goalkeeper Binu Purushotaman did well to parry the shot but Abekka was quick to pounce on the rebound and despatch home.
Stung by the reverse, Pax made some counter forrays. The Dempo citadel had a narrow escape when Pax striker Amaechi failed to connect a cross following an indirect kick in the 15th minute.
Dempo increased their lead in the 60th minute with Abekka scoring again. Collecting a pass from Alesh, Abekka ran down the left flank, advanced into ther box and placed the ball home.
The Pax players tried hard to reduce the margin, but a solid Dempo defence prevented them from finding the target.
In a thirilling encounter, SBT staged a magnificient comeback from behind to quell the challenge of Bhartri Sangha.
Dipankar Biswas put the Kolkata side ahead in the 57th minute, but Asheef Saheer put SBT on level terms in the 65th minute.
Saheer collected a throw from Sivakumar, cut the ball in and shot home before Bhratri custodian Avijit Mondol could realise what was happening.
Inspired by the success, the Kerala side continued to exert pressure. Noushad muffed a clear chance to increase the lead when he failed to control the ball properly and attempted a shot at the goal, before which a swift Mondol blocked the ball. This resulted in a flag-kick, which was wasted.
Thereafter, both the teams played splendid football with moves and counter-moves aplenty. SBT shot ahead in the 86th minute when Ajayan found the net. Ajayan, substituting Ignatious, collected a pass from the right flank and hit a powerful left-footer, which Mondol collected promptly. However, the ball slipped out of his hands and entered the net, giving SBT the lead.
SBT made it 3-1 at the fag end of the match when Ashif Saheer, the lanky striker, found the net again. He collected a pass from midfield and made a solo attempt at the goal. But Mondol blocked the shot. However, he capitalised on the rebound and tapped the ball over the goalkeeper to give his side a 3-1 verdict.
Second Division National Football League 2001-2002
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