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Dempo hold Mahindra United
May 21, 2006 22:08 IST
National league champions Mahindra United concluded their league engagements with a goalless draw against Dempo as the curtain came down on the 10th ONGC National Football League, in Margao, Goa, on Sunday.
Dempo's Stanley Colaco, who decided to hang his boots, was given a warm send-off by his team after the end of the match.
His teammate Joaquim Abrances was named man-of-the-match.
With the NFL coming to an end, Mahindra United, who had clinched the title for the first time, finished their league engagements with 36 points from 17 matches and took home the top prize of Rs 40 lakh.
East Bengal, who finished second with 31 points, were by Rs 22 lakh.
Dempo finished their league engagements with 25 points from 17 matches.
Dempo's Ranty Martins, who scored 14 goals, got the golden boot award along with a cash prize of Rs 50,000.
The Super Cup match between Mahidnras United and East Bengal will be played at the Cooperage in Mumbai on May 27.
In Sunday's match, both teams were evenly matched in the barren first half. Dempo, who forced the pace, created couple of scoring chances, with Joaquim Abranches's header being collected by 'keeper Sandip Nandy and Johnny D'Cruz missing the target narrowly.
Mahindra got an opportunity once in the first half but K Anees's shot was saved by keeper Satish Kumar.
The change of ends saw Dempo holding the edge over their rivals and came close to scoring twice but Sandip Nandy rose to the occasion, putting the ball over off Roberto Silva's shot. Earlier, Dempo's 'keeper Satish Kumar made a good save as he charged out to block a Steven Dias shot.
Referee P K Bose showed yellow cards to Mahindra United's Rauf Khan, Yusif Yakubu and Dempo's Samir Naik.
Mahindra United chairman Allan Durante was delighted with the performance of his team, which won the Federation Cup and NFL title this season.
"The boys have really worked hard and credit goes to them who clinched the NFL title with three matches in hand. Right now our aim is to win the Super Cup, which will be played in Mumbai. We have not been able to make to the quarter-finals of the AFC cup this time, but, hopefully, we will try to make it next year," said Durante.