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Dempo set up Fed Cup final with East Bengal

Source: PTI
September 28, 2012 21:25 IST
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I-League champions Dempo ousted reigning champions Salgaocar from the 34th Federation Cup with a clinical 2-0 victory on Friday to set up a summit clash against last year's runners-up East Bengal.

The final is on Sunday.

Dempo scored through Joaquim Abranches (73rd minute) and Koko Sakibo (85th) after a goalless first-half, as their Goan rivals were reduced to 10 men in the final few minutes of the second semi-final at the floodlit Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri.

Following a counter-attack on the right flank, Abranches found the back of the net with a powerful right-footer to give Dempo the lead.

It was then a fine display by a cool-headed Sakibo that took the game away from the Karim Bencherifa-coached defending champions.

Sakibo was tackled inside the box by Luciano Sabrosa, but, with an inside dribble and turn around, he unsettled the Salgaocar defender, who fell down in the bargain, and slotted the ball past Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh's reach for a 2-0 lead.

A minute later Fulgencio Cardozo was red carded by referee Ajit Meetei of Manipur after a bad tackle on Anthony Pererira.

With the numerical advantage favouring them, there was no looking back for Dempo as they made their fifth passage to the Federation Cup final.

Playing with just one foreigner in Nigerian recruit Sakibo, as the other, Ryuji Suyeoka is injured, Dempo dished out an attacking game in the first-half but the incisive strike was missing.

Despite being the most successful team of the I-League, Dempo does not enjoy a similar record in the Federation Cup, having won it only once, in Bangalore in 2004. That triumph is remembered for the tragic death of their Brazilian forward Cristiano Junior.

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