Airtel i-League 2013-14: Dempo SC and Mohun Bagan share spoils

Airtel i-League 2013-14
Duler Stadium, Goa
Dempo SC 0-0 Mohun Bagan

Dempo Sports Club put up an improved performance but not good enough to earn more than a point against McDowell Mohun Bagan in the eighth round I-League encounter at Duler Stadium, Goa, on Friday.

The teams finished goalless.

Dempo SC and Mohun Bagan match ended goalless at Duler,
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Dempo, awakened by the 1 – 3 away defeat at the hands of Bengaluru Football Club, looked determined to make amends and were helped by the inclusion of new recruits from Pailan Arrows, Pranoy Halder and Narayan Das. By the time the match ended, all four recruits were on the field as former Arrows coach Arthur Papas, now with Dempo, brought in Alwyn George and Holicharan Narzary.

At the other end, Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa started with Kenyan striker Eric Muranda and Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa, both of whom were injured in the run up to the match and had trained alone on the eve of the clash.

Expectedly, it were Dempo who made the right noise at the start with Peter Carvalho’s header testing goalkeeper Shilton Paul early in the  game.

Bagan’s first chance came almost half an hour into the game when Muranda’s half-volley of a long ball from Zakeer Mundampara was fisted away by an alert Subhashish Roy Chowdhury.

The best chance of the half fell at the feet of Dempo’s lone striker, Billy Mehmet. Pranoy played a nice one-two with Beto and the Brazilian midfielder stunningly picked up Billy, all alone, with a through ball. It should have been a regulation finish for the Irish striker but goalkeeper Shilton rose to the occasion with a diving save.

Bagan were industrious but with an ineffective Katsumi closed out of the game, chances were few and far between. The closest Bagan got in the first 45 minutes was when Manish Bhargav’s desperate lunge was mistimed, allowing Shouvik Ghosh’s cross to go waste.

The second session saw Dempo show more dynamism, although it did not scare the visitors. Bagan, with Celestine Echezona in fine form, defended well and whenever they were beaten, goalkeeper Shilton remained his confident self.

Bagan had a chance to seal all three points on offer but Katsumi’s snap shot kissed the upright and sailed out of play.
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