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Dempo win Goa Professional League
October 15, 2007 16:44 IST
Dempo Sports Club beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 at the Tilak stadium in Vasco, Goa [Images], to win the 2007 Vodafone Goa Professional Football League on Sunday.
The round 13 encounter was crucial for Dempo, as victory could see them take an unassailable lead at the top despite Salgaocar scoring a 1-0 victory over Sporting Clube De Goa in another match at Duler in Mapusa on Sunday.
The narrow victory, which came after the referee denied Churchill a penalty in the closing stages of the match, swelled Dempo's tally to 32 points.
Churchill and Salgaocar have 27 points each, while Sporting have 26. With the final round slated later this week, the trio will have to fight for the next three places behind the toppers.
Dempo forged ahead in the ninth minute through Cliffton Gonsalves while Odafe Okolie restored parity for Churchill in the 36th minute.
Nigerian Edeh Chidi's goal in the 61st minute turned out to be the match-winner.
Churchill pressed hard for the equalizer but a stubborn Dempo defence proved hard to beat.
Churchill felt they were denied a penalty by referee Angelo Fernandes five minutes from time when Okolie was brought down inside the box. The protests from the Churchill bench stirred up emotions in the crowd and as soon as the match was over some spectators entered the ground and manhandled the referee. Timely intervention by the police saved the situation from going out of hand.