Dempo rally to beat Sporting 3-2, regain top spot
Margao: Dempo Sports Club came from behind to down Sporting Clube de Goa 3-2 and regain the top spot in the 11th round of the I-League championship on Thursday.
Dempo, who lost their last three matches to surrender the top spot to Churchill Brothers, fought back against Sporting Clube in the match played at Nehru Stadium.
Dempo were down by an early first half goal but Joy Ferrao first restored parity, then Koko Sakibo rose from the bench to put the former champions ahead before Ranty Martins settled the issue.
Dawson Fernandes had scored Sporting Clube`s opening goal and Joyner Lourenco added another one in the third minute of added time.
With the victory, Dempo move to the top of the table with 24 points from 11 matches while Sporting Clube stay on 13 points from 11 matches.
The barren first half saw the play mainly confined to midfield. Dempo had the first chance to take a lead but young Ferrao`s fierce left footer, off a flag kick by Clifford Miranda, kissed the cross bar and went out in the 5th minute.
Sporting Clube, who made several changes to their starting line-up, played their heart out to keep the rivals at bay in the first half.
Jovel Martins` firm left footer from the top of the box hit the bar and went out. James Moga, who was at his best today, came with two strikes in the later part of the first half but both failed to yield desired result.
After the change of sides, Sporting took the lead in the 47th minute through Fernandes. The goal was result of a combined effort by Stephene Baretto, Moga and Fernandes.
The goal was a wake up call for Dempo, who retaliated with a series of moves and restored parity in the 63rd minute via Ferrao.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco brought in Sakibo in place of Ferrao. The move paid off and the striker found the net twice. Sporting then pulled one back in the stoppage time when Lourenco essayed a 40-yard shot that surprised the rival keeper Laxmikant to find the back of the net.