Beto dictates the tempo against JCT | sports | Hindustan Times
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Beto dictates the tempo against JCT

A tie between Punjab's JCT and defending champions Dempo was always going to be close given the wealth of talent in both ranks. Friday's I-League 4 encounter at the Tau Devi Lal stadium here, which Dempo won 2-1, lived up to the expectations for most part.

sports Updated: Feb 26, 2011 01:21 IST
Tomojit Basu

A tie between Punjab's JCT and defending champions Dempo was always going to be close given the wealth of talent in both ranks. Friday's I-League 4 encounter at the Tau Devi Lal stadium here, which Dempo won 2-1, lived up to the expectations for most part.

Dempo made their attacking intent clear from the start with Brazilian midfielder Beto's free-kick from the edge of the box troubling JCT keeper Naveen Kumar in the second minute.

Against the run of play, JCT drew first blood in the 12th minute through Gurtej Singh. A dismal clearance from Dempo custodian Subhasish Roy Chowdhury found the forward just outside the box. Gurtej powered past defender Mahesh Gawali and put JCT ahead.

Beto led the hope of an equaliser but his slick passes and nifty chips seemed too much for his team to keep up with. The Goa giants drew level in the 29th minute through a Martins header from a Samir Naik throw-in which JCT defenders Omalaja Kareem and Daljit Singh failed to clear.

Dempo, currently in fourth on the 14-team table, had a chance to pull ahead six minutes later. Miranda's corner was expertly volleyed by Beto from outside the box. Naveen did well to parry the strike and luckily for JCT, the rebound saw Martins' header glance against the horizontal.

At the other end, JCT had an opportunity go in front. A delightful run by Ajay Singh down the left created space to feed in a telling pass to Gurtej who failed to convert despite beating both Gawali and Dominic Noronha. In the 38th minute, they came close again when Ajay swivelled past Gawali to set up Gurtej whose shot into the lower left corner was stopped by Subhasish.

The match degenerated into a scrappy midfield affair after the breather and Dempo eventually netted the winner in the 87th minute when midfielder Peter Carvalho supplied an accurate pass for Beto to pick up a much deserved goal and earn Dempo a crucial win.