The juniors of Dempo SC were sent packing from the GFA U18 League after Salgaocar Juniors defeated them in the State semifinals played at the Rosary Sports Complex in Navelim on Tuesday evening. The two goals for the Greens came from Flagan Rodrigues and Liston Colaco in either half.
The first half began in high tempo as the Salgaocar lads went for the kill in the opening minute. Shayne Rodrigues was able to clear the Dempo defence with a beautiful lob which he sent Divyansh Sharma’s way who in the momentum that he was missed to finish the attack. The Dempo lads got their act together in the next 2 minutes running down the left crossed to a striker who would have buried the ball had it not been for a spectacular save by custodian Antonio Da Silva. The game continued to be played from end-to-end keeping the fans enthralled & on the edge of their seats. In the 35th minute Liston set up Kaushik Negi after a brilliant solo run right down the middle of the field but the latter was not able to control the ball well & sent wide above the post. It looked like both the teams would be heading into lemon break with a deadlock had it not been for a free-kick in added time. Shayne stood over the ball & sent it right into the heart of the Dempo box for Flagan to head it to the back of the net, separating the sides as the referee called for half-time.
In the second half Dempo went on the offensive. In the 43rd minute the Salgaocar lads conceded a corner which although taken well was headed out. Trying to keep the pressure & crack the Greens’ defence the Dempo lads tried their best but were outsmarted almost every time by Stephen Alvares, Flagan Rodrigues & Rollwin Almeida. Antonio was called upon quite a few times & he too did his task well. The 2nd goal came from a brilliant move generated in the heart of the Salgaocar defence as Stephen sent a neat through ball to Devendra Murgaokar who spotted Liston making a dash for the goal & sent it his way not before the striker had to dribble past the last defender & calmly place it to the far left of the goal-keeper. Liston had another scoring opportunity as the striker who has become notorious among rival teams for his free-kick taking ability was given the same outside the box. However the ball was sent back into play after it bounced off the post.
The game ended as a triumphant Salgaocar Junior side reach the state finals where the take on Sporting Clube de Goa.