Brazillian hitman Marcelo Pereira scored a brilliant hat-trick as Delhi Dynamos continued its impressive run with a 5-1 walloping of FC Goa to put itself in a strong position for a play-offs berth in the Indian Super League football here on Sunday.
Pereira struck in the 38th, 48th and 56th minutes to take his goal tally to eight, three more than his closest rivals for the Golden Boot, while Richard Gadze was on target in the 51st and 57th minutes as it rained goals for Delhi in its final home game of the league stage at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Delhi scored its last four goals of the match, all in the second half, in the space of nine minutes to the delight of the 18,000-odd spectators.
Interestingly, it was Goa, which was already out of reckoning for a play-offs berth before this match, scored first through Fulganco Cardozo in the 31st minute against the run of play but Delhi responded with overwhelming superiority to notch up its fifth win of the season.
Delhi is now at second spot with 20 points from 12 matches, behind already qualified Mumbai City FC (22 points from 13 matches). It plays NorthEast United on November 30 and Mumbai City FC on December 3 in its last two matches, both away games.
The Gianluca Zambrotta-coached side thus remained the only team not to lose a match at home this season. It has won thrice and drawn four times this season at home. Today’s comprehensive win against Goa added to its growing reputation as the strong title contender.
For Goa, the last season runner-up finishers, it was the familiar disappointment as Zico's men slumped to their eighth loss of the season. The team remains at the bottom with 11 points from 13 matches.
Delhi dominated for most part of the match and it was attacking from the word go and was lurking around the Goa goal all the time.
However, a goal against the run of play by Cardozo just after the half-hour mark saw Goa take the lead, stunning the home crowd.
This did not shake the home team’s confidence and it restored parity within seven minutes through Pereira. After the changeover, Delhi showed how strong its firepower was as it scored four goals in the space of nine minutes with another two from Pereira and an equal number from Gadze.
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