Martins leads Dempo to 1-0 victory

On the eve of Dempo SC’s AFC Cup match against Syria’s Al Maged,coach Armando Colaco had doubts over his team’s striking form......

Written by Saikat Sarkar | New Delhi | Published: March 11, 2009 2:02 am

On the eve of Dempo SC’s AFC Cup match against Syria’s Al Maged,coach Armando Colaco had doubts over his team’s striking form,as he particularly lamented Ranty Martins’s recently-acquired knack of fumbling at the goalmouth.

On Tuesday,it was Martins’s 24th minute strike — netting in Roberto Mendes’s free kick — that gave the Goans a winning start to their AFC Cup campaign over Syria’s Al Maged.

Armando Colaco,though satisfied with the show,guarded against complacency as his team are still to rub shoulders against defending and former champions,Al Muharraq and Al Faysali,respectively. “A victory against a higher-ranked club is always satisfying for a coach. Winning an international match is also special. I’m happy with Ranty’s goal. But at the moment I would hope he carries on from here. There’s still a long way to go,” said Colaco.

Long-awaited win

The win was also Dempo’s first win in about a month,since their 2-0 victory over Mumbai FC on February 13. Martins,who had his name in the score sheet in the match,didn’t miss the coincidence after Tuesday’s victory. “When I scored the last time,we’d won. So,this victory is special. I’m happy to score a goal again,” Martins told The Indian Express.

The jubilation is evident but injuries to team mates and the absence of Mboyo Iyomi has left him alone up front and he’s unsure of carrying his form to Jordan where Dempo play Al Faysali on March 17. “I’m still injured. I haven’t practised for three weeks since our loss to Al Sharjah,not even before this match. With Iyomi not playing I’m alone in the forward line. I understand the team depends on me for scoring,but I’m not even sure of playing against Al Faysali,” said Martins.

For team mate and India defender Mahesh Gawli,the victory was more important as it lifted the spirits ahead of the international fixtures. “The saddest part was we’re dominating the matches and then losing,conceding silly goals. Today,we didn’t let that happen once we were up in the first half. In the second-half we were tired by the heat and humidity,but tracked down all attacks from them,” said Gawli.

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