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Prodigal Dempo held by Mumbai FC

November 11, 2008 19:07 IST

One would have needed a calculator to keep track of the number of sorties, shies, corners and attempts at goal that Dempo notched again Mumbai FC on Tuesday. But it was all in vain as the scoreboard stood blank at the end of regulation time in the postponed fourth round I-League match, at the Cooperage.

In fact, had Lady Luck smiled in their favour, the newly promoted local side could have trooped out with full points, as Abel Hammond sent a fine chance wide of the far post in the 72nd moment while fluffing another opportunity from a lovely through pass by Kalia Kulothungan in the 55th minute.

The Goa champions now move up one spot to eighth place with eight points from seven games while Mumbai FC swelled their tally to 11 but continue to occupy a creditable fourth position.

Dempo enjoyed a monopoly over the proceedings today and were their usual efficient selves, yet one could not escape the feeling that they appeared jaded and were forcing themselves to go through the motions. Still, with a crack strike force and a supremely gifted midfield they should have taken full value from this outing, the heroics of Kalyan Chaubey under the Mumbai FC bar notwithstanding. That they didn't is indicative of the jinx that haunts them as they have gone winless in three matches.

Ranty Martins's fierce header from a Beto corner, which struck the upright in the 80th minute and rebounded into play before the ball was cleared, confirmed this belief that they are under the spell of Saturn. And to make matters worse, the rangy Iyomi Mboyo limped out with a (hamstring?) injury in the 83rd minute. He could be hors de combat for quite a while to compound Armando Colaco's striking problems.

David's Booth side did not cut a sorry figure today and their determination to keep their chin up and take the battle to the rival camp was commendable. In fact, the locals fired the first salvo when K Aseem cut into the box in the third minute and fired an angular shot, which was parried by Dempo custodian Satish Kumar. On the other wing, his twin brother Anees also tried to generate some momentum but ultimately Mumbai FC's capabilities could not match their grandiose intentions.

However, their central defense stood rock steady and none exemplified the dogged determination today than stopper back James Dissiramah, who kept Dempo's feared Nigerian strikers on a tight leash. He deservingly walked off with the man-of-the-match award, the yellow he earned for a needless foul on Martins being the only blot in his copybook.

Mario Rodrigues