JCT hold Dempo 0-0 in mediocre I-League match

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New Delhi, Dec 16 (UNI) JCT held holders Dempo to a goal-less draw in a lacklustre sixth round I-League match at Ambedkar Stadium here today.

The match between the two unbeaten league toppers was so listless that the whole match saw just a clear chance with play confined in midfield most of the time.

With today's result, Dempo were still on top spot with 14 points from four wins and two draws while JCT are second with three wins and and equal number of draws.

Dempo were uninspiring with lots of mispasses and their midfield pair of India midfielder Climax Lawrence and Roberto Mendis da Silva lacking in creativity.

Prolific goal-scorer and captain Ranty Martins had an off day at office. His strike partner Anthony Perreira, who had to switch from right flank to the middle due to absence of Nigerain Chidi Edeh because of two yellow cards, had also a forgettable outing on the field and was later substituted in the second half.

JCT were no better though they had more thrust on attack and looked menacing at times with man-of-the-match Marcos Perreira doing lots of running.

But, the millmen were shy of any openings with tournament top scorer Eduardo da Silva Escobar lacking the sting in the absence of his strike partner Sunil Chhetri, also sitting out the match due to two bookings.

Edu wasted a free kick from just outside the top center of the box when the match was just two-minute old and next minute his feeble left footer from the left corner of the box was on target but a diving Dempo goalkeeper VP Satish Kumar pushed it away for a corner.

In the 26th minute, the Goan side had the only clear chance of the match but captain Ranty Martins' unchallenged header just in front of JCT goalkeeper sailed over the bar.

After the changeover, the complexion of the game did not change and both the sides seemed to be content with defending their citadel instead of making more thrust in attack.

In the 79th minute, Dempo's Joaquim Abranches had a powerful shot at JCT goal from a da Silva pass but was straight to goalkeeper who fumbled but still held on the ball.

Dempo coach Armando Colaco seemed to be happy with the result.

''JCT are a good team and I am happy that we are going back with one point in our away match,'' he said.

JCT coach Sukhwinder Singh was also happy that their opponents did not get full points.

''Obviously, we would have wanted to get full points. But, it's better than getting none and giving away full points to them (Dempo),'' he said.

He said Edu did not play to his potential but refused to agree that his side played for a draw.

UNI

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