Dempo ride on Silva's heroics

Football I-League: Praise helps Air India hold Churchill

Defending champions Dempo, who needed a win desperately, took an early lead in the fourth minute. Following a corner on the right, Clifford Miranda floated the ball into the box which goalkeeper Karanjit Singh managed to punch out. Defender Luciano Sobrosa headed the ball on to the path of Ogba Kalu, whose low shot at the goal was diverted into the net by Climax Lawrence.  Salgaocar’s persistent efforts bore fruit when they found the net in the 31st minute. Defender Jaspal Parmar from the right laid a long pass to Yusif Yakubu who beat a rival defender and after entering the box uncorked an angular drive on the run that hit the far post before finding the net.

Dempo’s Roberto Silva and Ranti Martins split the rival defence with intelligent passing to take the lead in the 43rd minute. Roberto, from the middle, split the defence with a through pass to Martins, who beat the rival goalkeeper Karanjit with a low shot to take Dempo to 2-1.

With Salgaocar going all out in search of the equaliser and their defenders leaving lot of gaps as they moved up, Dempo punished them with a goal in the 85th minute. Kalu Ogba from the middle gave a pass to Roberto Silva, who raced and beat the onrushing Singh, to find the net. Dempo took their tally to 44  points, the same as East Bengal and Churchill Brothers. Salgaocar still remain top with 46 points from 21 matches.

In Mumbai, Air India held Churchill Brothers to a 2-2 draw. Air India took the lead though in-form striker Okorogor Praise in the 16th minute but Chirchill struck back immediately courtesy captain Odafa Okolie in the 18th.

Bineesh Balan made it 2-1 to the Goans in the 24th but Praise struck again for the Airmen in second minute of stoppage time to salvage a crucial draw.

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