Margao: Dempo FC kept their unbeaten run intact as they scored in each half to beat Salgaocar FC 2-0 to enter the finals of the 36th Hero Federation Cup football tournament here today.
Dempo, who dominated the match in both the sessions, scored through Francis Fernandes (11th) and Tolgay Ozbey (59th). They could have won by bigger margin had it not been for brilliant efforts from rival keeper Subrata Paul who made three saves.
Both the teams played open game in the first half. Dempo FC, who came into this match with an unbeaten run, looked more organised in their attack, creating more scoring chances as they moved the ball from the flanks with Tolgay putting a lot of pressure on the rival defense.
Dempo, who attacked the rival goal with steady passes, took the lead in the 11th minute against the run of play as Francis Fernandes, who received the ball on the left, took a shot that took an awkward deflection from Tolgay who was in an off side position and the ball found the far corner of the net beating Paul all ends up.
Tolgay, who was put through on the right twice saw his effort first sail over the bar and later saved by Paul.
Salgaocar FC, who was hit hard by the absence of Darryl Duffy, were looking for their third title this season and enjoyed upper hands in the midfield but were not given space by the rival defender to strike.
Salgaocar FC, who played all the league phase matches at Tilak Stadium in Vasco, looked good as they tried to find the equaliser and substiute Cliffton Dias' effort off a Douhou Pierre pass missed the target narrowly.
Dempo made a counter and earned a penalty after Paul, who left his charge to foil Tolgay, brought him down who was in good position to score after Mandar Rao Dessai set him free inside the box and referee Pranjal Banerjee awarded the penalty, which Tolgay himself converted in the 59th minute.
Thereafter Dempo FC put tremendous pressure on their rival from the right flank and could have scored on three occasions had it not been for Paul who brought off superlative saves off Mandar Rao Dessai, Jewel Raja and substiute Hollicharan Nazaray in quick succession.
Salgaocar came with a couple of forays in the closing stage and could have pulled one back, but Francis Kasonde was late in connecting the ball off Gurjinder Kumar's effort which came via a Douhou Pierre free kick.