Durand Cup: Dempo beat Air India, Mahindra held by Lajong

September 14th, 2009 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Former champions Dempo Sports Club demolished Air India 4-1 while newly-promoted I-League club Lajong did well to hold title-holders Mahindra United in a barren draw in the quarterfinal league of the Durand Cup here Monday.
Peter Carvalho (29th), Ranty Martins (60th), Sunil Chettri (69th) and Beto (89th) struck for the Goan club to ground Air India in a group-three match at the Ambedkar Stadium. Air India managed to pull one back in the last minute through Nigerian striker N.D. Opara.

The spotlight was on Dempo’s new signing Chettri, but the India striker would take some more time to adjust in the new set-up.

Brazilian playmaker Beto was the star of the day as he kept both Nigerian forward Ranty and Chettri busy throughout the match. But it was Carvalho, who headed in from a Nicolau Borges flag-kick to break the deadlock in the 29th minute.

Dempo had to wait for nearly 39 minutes to open the floodgates as Air India came crashing down following their comprehensive 3-0 win over Army XI in their opening match.

In the last 30 minutes, the Air India defence collapsed under relentless attack of the Dempo forwards and an unmarked Ranty scored from a goalmouth melee to increase the lead on the hour-mark.

East Bengal discard Chettri also scored on his maiden appearance for Dempo converting a penalty kick after Beto was brought down in the box. Nine minutes later, Beto’s swirling free-kick crashed into the top net as Dempo put the final nail in Air India’s coffin.

Earlier in the day in a group four match, Shillong’s Lajong surprised Mahindra with a spirited performance and dominated the second half.

Lajong had a quiet first-half but increased the tempo after the change of sides and Mahindra goalkeeper Subashish Roy Chowdhury did well as the Mumbai outfit escaped by splitting points.

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