Dempo SC U-15 were held to a 1-1 draw by archrivals Salgaocar FC U-15 in an U-15 Youth League match played at the Nagoa Ground in Goa on Friday.
Dempo SC were the more dominant side in the first quarter of the match and had their first attempt at goal in the 17th minute when Stewart D’Mello played a beautiful ball to Vieri Colaco whose shot went just above the post.
Vieri had another golden opportunity to score in the 29th minute when he blasted a powerful shot over the crossbar with just the keeper to beat.
Post the lemon break, Dempo SC continued attacking their rivals. A shot from Fedrick Fernandes hit the post and just a minute later Stewart D’Mello saw his long range effort going just wide.
Salgaocar FC’s attacks were sparse and few with their best chance coming in the 61st minute when Aman Rajbagh’s shot from just outside the 18 yard box went inches wide of the goal.
With Dempo SC constantly raiding the Salgaocar FC citadel it was only a matter of time before they took the lead. After collecting a loose ball from the midfield Stewart D’Mello’s wonderful volley crashed into the nylons and gave the Golden Eagles a much deserved lead in the 67th minute.
The Panjim-based side then had a golden opportunity to seal three points when Stewart D’Mello sent in a defence splitting pass to Velanco Rodrigues. However the latter’s chipped shot went just above the keeper much to the frustration of the Dempo bench.
Dempo’s profligacy in front of goal came to haunt them when Salgaocar FC were awarded a penalty after Stewart D’Mello handled the ball inside the box in the 84th minute. Salgaocar striker Aman Rajbagh made no mistake with the spot sending Dempo keeper Nikil Kariyyappa the wrong side to level the scores with just five minutes left on the clock.
Stewart D’Mello almost turned from villain to hero in the dying minutes of the match when he struck a brilliant free-kick from outside the box. His shot though was brilliantly saved by the Salgaocar FC keeper earning an unlikely point for the Vasco-based side.