Dempo SC survived Churchill Brothers scare as they scored a thrilling 3-2 win scoring a last-gasp winner from the spot to gain full points in the Goa Professional League match played at Sports Authority of Goa ground, Utorda on Sunday.
Dempo SC regained the top spot with 51 points playing 21 games. Though they are equal on points with Goan FC, having a better goal difference enabled the Golden Eagles regain the top spot and keep them in strong contention of the title as they will play their final league game against Goan FC. Meanwhile Goan FC have two games in hand as they are yet to play with Dempo SC and Sporting Clube de Goa.
The defeat leaves Churchill Brothers with 39 points from 21 games as they will play their final league fixture against Sporting Clube de Goa.
All the five goals were scored in the second half. In the 48th minute, Dempo SC’s U-20 player Floyd played an aerial through ball to Joaquim, who beautifully controlled the ball before slamming past the rival custodian, 1-0.
Churchill Brothers kept pressing in search of the equalising goal and finally in the 68th minute when Lamgoulem was fed with the ball from the centre, the second half substitute turned and dribbled past one Dempo SC defender before guiding the ball into the net, 1-1.
A draw would end Dempo SC’s title hopes and so the team played quick passing in a bid to surge ahead and they successfully managed to take the lead from a set piece. Suraj Haldonkar’s corner kick which was headed in by Abranches took the final touch of Pedro Gonsalves, before entering the goal, 2-1.
The final ten minutes of the game got intense as Churchill Brothers SC were quick on their counters and in the 80th minute, second half substitute Clencio Pinto played a perfect pass to Uttam, who restored parity.
Just when it looked like Dempo SC’s title bid was coming to an end, Joaquim Abranches earned an 88th minute penalty when he managed to dribble past Shallum Pires but caught his leg of the rival defender and fell to the ground. Referee without hesitation pointed towards the spot, much to dismay of the Churchill Brothers players. Suraj stepped over and coolly converted from the spot.