Bhawanipore FC records first win
Dempo Sports Club warded off a second half threat from Mohammedan Sporting to clinch a semifinal place from Group D of the Federation Cup football championship at the MDSC Stadium here on Monday. The goalless draw ensured Dempo’s place at the top of the table on goal difference after both teams ended with seven points each.
Arthur Papas’ side, which only needed to draw its final league match, set the pace in the first half.
The Goans showed more intent, had more ball possession and created more chances than its rival. Brazilian Roberto Mendes Silva controlled the play and twice put Romeo Fernandez in a position to score in the first half.
But, Romeo was found wanting in converting those chances. Narayan Das, too, had a crack at the Mohammedan goal in the 42nd minute when his piledriver from 35 yards missed the mark by a few inches.
For a side needing to win to qualify, Mohammedan was strangely subdued as its strike force of Josimar Martins and Penn Orji was starved of passes. A long ranger from Rakesh Masih in injury-time was the only shot it managed at the rival goal.
The Kolkata side shrugged off its passiveness and went all out for the win. But Dempo’s defence proved impregnable as Mohammedan failed to score in its period of ascendency.
Josmiar probably missed the easiest of chances in the entire match when he headed straight into goalkeeper Kattimani’s hands off Nabi’s cross in the 74th minute.
Earlier in an inconsequential match, Bhawanipore FC defeated United Sikkim FC by a solitary goal to record its first win of the tournament.
Daniel Didemi blitzed an early goal in the fourth minute and Bhawanipore clung on despite Sikkim’s best efforts to draw an equaliser.
The goal arrived before the Sikkim defence could even settle down and off Bhawanipore’s first serious foray into the rival half.
Didemi was unchallenged and had only the ’keeper to beat when he received a long ball from Anubrata Maity.
The Sikkim side strung a series of threatening moves in both halves, but Bhawanipore’s defence was equal to the task.
The best chance for the Sikkim side came in the 70th minute when Oluwawunmi Adelja’s glancing header off a fine cross from Sanjay Chettri hit the bar and rebounded back into play.
The results: Bhawanipore FC 1 (Daniel Didemi 4) bt United Sikkim FC 0; Dempo, Goa 0 drew with Mohammedan Sporting 0.
Tuesday’s matches: Sporting Clube de Goa v Rangdajied FC; Kingfisher East Bengal v Bengaluru FC.
(Read as played, won, draw, lost, goals for, goals against, goal difference, points)
Dempo Sports Club: 3, 2, 1, 0, 5, 1, +4, 7
Mohammedan Sporting Club: 3, 2, 1, 0, 4, 1, +3, 7
Bhawanipore FC: 3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 4, 4, -2, 3
United Sikkim FC: 3, 0, 0, 3, 1, 6, -5, 0
Keywords: Federation Cup