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Sporting, Dempo fail to qualify after drab draw

Mapusa: Sporting Clube de Goa held Dempo Sports Club to a goalless draw in the AIFF U-18 I-League match, played at Duler Stadium, here on Thursday.By virtue of this result, AIFF and Salgaocar FC have qualified for main league from the Goa Zone.Thursday’s encounter hardly rose to great heights, with moves few and far between.Both sides confined the ball to the midfield for major part of the first session where the first attacking move happened only in the 25th minute when Sporting Clube’s Gopi Kesarkar made his way past the Dempo defenders and flashed the ball across the face of the Dempo goal, however none of the Sporting players could tap the ball home.Couple of minutes into the match, Dempo keeper failed to hold onto Alston Camotio’s powerful free-kick and the ball rolled to Gopi, however the latter failed to guide the ball home from handshaking distance, to the dismay of his teammates.
At the other end, Sporting keeper effected some brilliant save in the end of the first half to deny Shubert Pereira from putting Dempo into the lead.Crossing over, it was Dempo who had the first crack at the rival goal when the ball slipped from the hands of Sporting keeper Akshat Hadkonkar, however Aaron Rodrigues and Sezwin Fernandes faltered when it mattered most.Minutes later Dempo’s Sezwin sent a curling cross to unmarked Kapil Hoble right inside the Sporting 18-yard box, however the latter shot into the waiting hands of the keeper.In the 73rd minute Aaron sent the ball towards Kapil Hoble who once again failed to direct the ball into the Sporting goal.In the closing minutes of the match Brandon Gomes unleashed a powerful 35-yard shot which was neatly kept away by Preston Rego. [H]

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