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Mahindra United down Dempo with late goal
March 27, 2007 20:25 IST
Substitute Mohd Rafi's scored a late goal to help Mahindra United snatch victory over Dempo and move to the top of the table in the 11th ONGC National Football League, at the Nehru stadium in Margao, Goa, on Tuesday.
Mahindra, who were pushed to the wall for a major part of the match scored the winner in the 70th minute.
Coach Derrick Pereira's substitution proved the master stroke as Mohammed Rafi drove home a goalmouth cross from Mbaka Dady, which Mensah Andrew failed to connect.
The victory took Mahindra United at the top of the table, with 21 points from 10 matches, displacing Dempo, who are second with 20 points from as many matches.
The Man of the Match award went to Dempo's defender Samir Naik.
Durand Cup champions, Dempo, who lost to Mahindra in the first-leg, held midfield superiority, putting the Mahindra defence under immense pressure. They had the first look goal in the ninth minute following a move led by Climax Lawrence, but Ranty Martins missed the mark narrowly.
Two minutes later, Ranty again had a chance to score, but directed his shot over the bar, off a square pass from Anthony Pereira.
Thereafter play was confined to midfield for a brief period. Dempo had another opportunity but Roberto D'Silva headed the ball out following a cross from Clifford Miranda.
Mahindra, who lacked urgency in their attack, came up with a threatening move in the 34th minute. Yusif Yakubu sprinted down the right, and after entering the box essayed a powerful right footer which 'keeper Satish Kumar fisted over the bar.
Dempo continued to dictate terms in the second-half. Mahindra United, who found the going tough, made two changes, bringing in Steven Dias and Mohammed Rafi in place of S Venkatesh and James Singh and the latter responded well, scoring in the 70th minute.
In a counter move, Mbaka Dady sent a goalmouth cross from the right, which Mohd Rafi shot home after Andrew Pomeyie Mensah failed to connect.
Yusif Yakubu could have increased the lead but his stiff grounder was saved by Satish Kumar with his outstretched leg.