Dempo beat Al Ansar in AFC Cup

March 11th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by admin  

Margao, March 11 (IANS) Dempo Sports Club carried on their impressive domestic form into the AFC Cup with a 3-1 demolition of Lebanon’s Al Ansar in a Group ‘A’ clash at the Nehru Stadium here. Nigerian striker Ranty Martins struck a brace while Edeh Chidi chipped in with one to ensure that the I-League champions begin their AFC Cup campaign with a bang.

Dempo led 2-0 at the breather, with Martins tearing Al Ansar apart inside 30 minutes.

The hot and humid condition in Goa took a toll on the visitors, who were left huffing soon after start of play.

Al Ansar started with a five-man midfield and a lone man upfront making their defensive strategy clear. Captain Hassoun Malek was impressive at the centre but he and the team were let down by some poor finishing.

Ghosson Fadi frittered away the first of several missed chances early in the eighth minute when he delayed a shot at the goal, allowing defender John Dias to block his path.

A minute later, Brazilian striker Edilson da Silva went close with a strike that Dempo goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal managed to get a fingertip on.

Having judged Al Ansar’s game plan early, Dempo grew in confidence. Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes da Silva caught the eye in midfield while striker Martins and Chidi showed perfect understanding upfront.

Dempo drew first blood in the 21st minute when Martins beat an offside trap to control a well measured cross from Joaquim Abaranches and slot the ball past Al Ansar goalkeeper Mehanna Lary with the inside of his left foot.

Ranty soon made it 2-0 when another defensive lapse gave him time and space for a simple tap in.

After the change of ends, when the climate got a lot cooler, Al Ansar started to dictate terms. Although they enjoyed plenty of ball possession, the attack remained poor.

Danash Hassan missed two glorious chances with only the goalkeeper at his mercy while Edilson saw one of his long rangers miss the target.

Dempo brought the curtains down in the 61st minute when Chidi and Ranty worked a nice one-two that left the rival defence stunned. The former drilled a low shot into the far corner of the goalpost.

The score would have been more embarrassing for the visitors had Abaranches not chosen to aim for the sky two minutes later.

Al Ansar pulled one back when Abhijit Mondal allowed an innocuous Ghosson Fadi shot to spill out of grasp. Striker Danash Hassan Danash scored from handshaking distance.

Dempo next play Sur away in Oman March 18 while Al Ansar tackle Bahrain’s Al Muharraq, at home in Beirut.

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