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It’s Dempo versus EB

Koko Sakibo celebrates with a teammate. Picture courtesy: AIFF

Siliguri: Dempo Sports Club entered the Federation Cup final on Friday defeating Salgaocar 2-0 to set up a summit clash against East Bengal.

Dempo scored through Joaquim Abranches (73rd) and Koko Sakibo (85th) after a goalless first-half. Salgaocar were reduced to 10 players during the final few minutes of the second semi-final.

Abranches found the back of the net with a powerful right-footer to give Dempo the lead.

Five minutes before close, Sakibo got the second and it was all over for the Karim Bencharifa-coached defending champions.

Sakibo got past his marker Luciano Sabrosa with an inside dribble and then was quick to slot it home past Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh for a 2-0 lead.

A minute later Fulgencio Cardozo was shown the red card by referee Ajit Meetei of Manipur after a bad tackle on Anthony Pererira.

After that, there was no looking back for Dempo who entered the final for fifth time.

Playing with just one foreigner in Nigerian recruit Sakibo — Ryuji Suyeoka injured — Dempo dished out an attacking game in the first-half but the incisive strike was missing.

Eight minutes after the changeover, Dempo captain Clifford Miranda’s left-sided corner hit the crossbar.

The most successful team of the I-League, Dempo do not enjoy a similar record in the Federation Cup, winning it only once in 2004. For the record, Dempo’s Cristiano Junior died on the field after a collision with Mohun Bagan’s Subrata Paul, during the final clash.

On Sunday, it will be an ideal tribute to the late Brazilian striker if Armando Colaco’s men take home the Federation Cup. (Agencies)