Photo Credits: Dempo SC
Dempo SC emerged victorious with a 2-1 win against Sporting Clube de Goa in an intense Goan derby in the I-League 2 at Dempo Academy Ground, Ella, Old Goa, on Monday.
Despite Sporting's valiant efforts, they slipped to the second spot in the standings following FC Bengaluru United's 3-0 triumph over United SC, leaving Bengaluru with 13 points from six games and Sporting with 10 points. Meanwhile, Dempo positioned themselves fifth with seven points from five games, capitalizing on their home advantage from the outset, dominating ball possession.
Sporting struggled to establish their rhythm, unable to maintain possession for extended periods. In the 20th minute, Dempo seized the lead as Vinay Harji's scorching half-volley beat Sporting's goalkeeper Dylan Da Silva.
Sporting attempted to regroup but faced tense moments, with Rahul Paswan missing an easy tap-in and Dylan making crucial saves to deny Seigoumang Doungle. Before halftime, Dylan made another impressive save, thwarting Shallum Pires' free-kick deflected off the wall.
In the second half, Sporting started brightly, testing Dempo keeper Sangramjit Chowdhury, but failed to capitalize on the opportunities. Dempo then doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute, with Pruthvesh Pednekar heading in a delivery from Laximanrao Rane. Sporting rallied in the final quarter and managed to reduce the deficit after Biswa Darhjee's free-kick beat Sangramjit in the 89th minute.
Dempo will next play at Kalyani Stadium against hosts United SC on March 24 while Sporting will resume their campaign when they travel to face SC Bengaluru United on the same day.