Armando Colaco’s return to Goa with a clash against Dempo Sports Club was soured by a solitary goal defeat for East Bengal at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Sunday.
Colaco had guided Dempo to an unprecedented five national titles and coached Dempo for 13 years before the East Bengal move a couple of months ago. Armando returned to Goa with East Bengal and squared up to his former club but there were no concessions as Tolgay Ozbey scored the only goal against 10-man East Bengal.
East Bengal called the shots at the start and controlled the proceedings amicably but with Gurwinder Singh sent off for a challenge on Haroon Fakhruddin in the 44th minute, East Bengal were left with their backs against the wall. Dempo eventually grew in confidence and Tolgay, a former East Bengal striker, helped Dempo win all points with a smart header in the 70th minute.
East Bengal will be disappointed that they got nothing from this match, especially for the manner in which they started the game. Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi and Japanese midfielder Ryuji Sueoka were in fine fettle at the start and seemed to push Dempo in their own half for a majority of the first half.
S Malsawmtlunga had a powerful shot blocked by Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani and then Sueoka’s attempt landed straight into the waiting hands of the goalkeeper.
For Dempo, Beto had the first look at the rival goal but his shot did not test Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Another attempt went abegging when Tolgay’s through ball for Alwyn George did not get the desired result.
The match then took a different course when Gurwinder was sent off for a foul on Haroon, reducing East Bengal’s dominance.
In the second session, Dempo took advantage of the numerical advantage and got the result they were looking for in the 70th minute when a fine cross from Narayan Das saw Tolgay jump high and nod home at the far post.