Margao, March 24 (IANS) Dempo Sports Club opened a nine point gap at the top of the I-League football ladder with an easy 3-0 win over HAL Bangalore at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda Saturday.
A brace from Ranty Martins and another one from substitute Japanese striker Yusuke Kato meant the former champions now have 46 points in their kitty, nine more than nearest rivals Mohun Bagan, who, however, have a match in hand.
HAL on the other hand are at the bottom of the pool with seven points and should be the most favoured candidate to get relegated.
Dempo had a easy outing against the bottom-placed team but with the team missing far too many easy chances, there was a semblance of a contest.
After Ranty had missed two gilt-edge chances inside the first 10 minutes, the Nigerian striker finally helped his side open the account, although the effort came from the spot.
The penalty was awarded after a HAL defender brought down Peter Carvalho inside a crowded danger zone.
Once Dempo had the lead, nerves were calmed but the saga of missed chances continued.
Koko Sakibo, Peter Carvalho and Anthony Pereira surprised many with their lack of shooting skills in front of the goal even as the teams trooped out for the breather with the home side enjoying a solitary goal lead.
In the second session, there was more of the goal-scoring drama. Joaquim Abranches, Densill Theobad and Climax were all guilty of missing chances.
Dempo scored the insurance goal just after the hour mark when Sakibo grabbed a ball from a negligent HAL pass and laid it on to the path of Ranty, who had to lift the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper for another easy goal.
Kato, who replaced Ranty, made it 3-0 in the 89th minute when he finished off a pass from Koko Sakibo.
Had it not been for HAL goalkeeper Amar Deb, HAL would have lost by a bigger margin.
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