To face East Bengal in the final on Sunday
Joaquim Abranches and Koko Sakibo struck late in the match to help Dempo SC end the hopes of defending champion Salgaocar SC in the second semifinal of the Federation Cup football at the Kanchanjungha Stadium here on Friday.
Making its fifth entry in to the final in the history of the tournament, Dempo will now take on East Bengal on Sunday. Dempo’s entry to the final also ensured an AFC Cup berth for East Bengal irrespective of the result in the final as the former is the reigning I-League champion.
A young Salgaocar side struggled to put together a cohesive show as Dempo fired in two goals late in the second half. Salgaocar was reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute when its defender Fulganco Cardozo was ejected following his second booking.
The Goa giant made a placid start and played a waiting game in the opening session. The action hovered chiefly around the midfield and the attacks were spaced out as each team depended on counter-attacks.
Dempo’s famed midfield, which banked on the experience and creative flair of India caps Climax Lawrence and Clifford Miranda, enjoyed a bit of an edge but the I-League champion failed to translate the advantage into goals as Abranches missed two chances.
Salgaocar earned one scoring opportunity in the 32nd but Cardozo’s attempt following a corner was cleared off the goalmouth by the Dempo midfielder Lawrence.
Dempo put up much improved show after the break and sought to score right after the restart.
Karanjit Singh in the Salgaocar goal did well to keep off the sustained Dempo attacks. The former India custodian saved an attempt from the Dempo midfielder Peter Carvalho in the 49th before getting in the line of another effort, this time from Sakibo in the 70th.
Young Romeo Fernandes, who was introduced in the 53rd in place of the captain Miranda, ended Dempo’s wait in the 74th.
He set up a probing cross across the Salgaocar goalmouth where Abranches finished with a spectacular side volley in to the Salgaocar net.
Dempo doubled its efforts after that and was rewarded with the insurance goal in the 85th. Sakibo, assisted inside the Salgaocar box by a cross from Anthony Perreira, made a sharp turn to dispose off his marker and found the net with a fine angular effort.
Dempo SC 2 (Joaquim Abranches 74, Koko Sakibo 85) bt Salgaocar SC 0.
Keywords: Federation Cup football