Martins` double strike sinks Mumbai FC
Pune: Nigerian striker Ranti Martins found the target twice, including an injury time goal, to power Dempo Sports Club to a comprehensive 2-0 win over Mumbai FC in an 18th round I League match and open up a six-point lead over their nearest rivals at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.
With 40 points from 18 matches, the Goan outfit is now sitting pretty at the top of the heap, while Mumbai FC remained in 11th spot with 14 points from 18 matches after losing their sixth match on the trot.
In second and third spots are Kolkata glamour outfits East Bengal and Mohun Bagan with 34 and 33 points, respectively.
I League veteran Martins scored his opening goal in the 22nd minute off a spot-kick and his second effort came when he was left unmarked off a move from the right that he took full advantage of by putting the ball past Mumbai FC`s goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh.
For Mumbai FC, who tried to find the equaliser, striker Ebi Sukore was woefully off colour.
Mumbai FC got a chance to equalise early in the second half when Sukore came up with a spectacular somersault attempt but Dempo custodian Subhasish Roy Chowdhury collected the ball easily.
During the four-minute added-on time, though Mumbai FC showed urgency to secure the equaliser, it was Dempo who succeeded.
Following a move from the right Trinidadian Denzil Theobald drew away three defenders and rival custodian Ghosh to lay a pass to the unmarked Martins, who had all the time in the world to score. Koko Sakibo of Dempo was adjudged man-of-the-match.