Demba roars for Tigers
Demba Dikhate’s second-half brace powered a resurgent Mumbai Tigers to a 3-0 victory over Southern Samity, Kolkata, in their I-League Second Division match at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Tuesday.
The Senegalese striker’s two beautifully taken goals in the 79th and 89th minutes came after former India striker NP Pradeep produced his moment of magic in the 64th minute with a 25-yard shot to pave the way for the Tigers’ second win in as many matches.
Samity had a frustrating day in office as they had to play the last 30 minutes of regulation time with 10 players after their key forward Francis O Onyeama was sent off with a for a reckless tackle on Tigers’ Loukik Jadhav in the 60th minute.
The second session really brought the game alive thanks to the individual brilliance of Pradeep and Dikhate. Pradeep’s goal came out of nowhere as he swiftly turned around and created some legroom before unleashing an unstoppable left-footer to the top-left corner of Samity custodian Naseem Akhtar.
Stunned by the turn of events, Samity pressed forward in search of the equaliser but Dikhate was plotting his own plans. The forward’s came up with a great finish for the first goal. He was released by Pradeep with a measured through ball and Dikhate beat Akhtar before slotting the ball home.
His second goal was almost similar in execution with Pradeep the passer again but Dikhate gave himself much more time to find the net, leaving Akhtar and the Samity defenders clueless.
The two teams, who slugged it out for the top two slots in the Round I Group C matches here, played a hard-fought first half with their defence standing strong and forwardline unimpressive.
Tigers’ star forward Mohammad Rafi hobbled off in the 39th minute after suffering from hamstring problems and Durga Boro came in to replace him.
Onyeama was in his elements for Samity in the first half with a 28th minute left-foot scorcher off a Suraj Mondal through ball but it missed the goal by a few yards. However, Onyeama received his first yellow after fouling Rafi in the 18th minute and later on, received his second card as well, delivering a blow for his team.
Earlier, Marco Baretto’s goal in first minute of stoppage time helped Bhawanipore FC, Kolkata beat Rangdajied United FC, Shillong 1-0.
Wednesday’s match: Mohammedan Sporting vs Langsning FC (4.15 pm).