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Striker loses life in team's victory
Cristiano de lima Junior

Bangalore, Dec. 5: Cristiano de lima Junior played the match of his life but did not live to savour it.

After scoring the last of his two goals for Dempo Sports Club and leading it to its first Federation Cup title, 25-year-old Junior collapsed on the field. Rushed to the hospital, he was declared dead.

Dr Thomas Chandy, medical director at Hosmat hospital, said: 'He died on the field. It was a sudden death and there are many causes of sudden death among young people. Only the post-mortem will give the precise cause of death.'

One report suggested that Junior went up into the air after putting the ball in the net and the right arm of Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Subrata Paul, also airborne, appeared to touch Dempo's Brazilian striker in the chest.

Junior dropped to the ground and lay flat.

Another version of the incident did not speak of collision but said Junior did the footballer's familiar somersault and fell on the ground at Bangalore's Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

The lanky six-foot-plus striker, who saw Ronaldo as model, came to India recently and played for East Bengal in the last season, transferring to Dempo subsequently.

Today, he scored in the 42nd and 78th minutes, the only goals scored in the final as fancied Mohun Bagan went down to Dempo.

The team's coach, Arman Colaco, said between sobs: 'What do you want to know' Can you bring back my Junior'

Colaco's deputy Mauricio Alfonso, a former Dempo player, said: 'He fell on the ground and we ran to attend on him. He was struggling to breathe and one of the Mohun Bagan players (Roberto Mendes Silva, a fellow Brazilian) tried to revive him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But soon we had a mob around us.'

In an interview to The Telegraph, Junior had said if one was honest to one's job, the result would follow. 'Life never stops at one point.'

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