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Mohd. Sporting relegated; Dempo finish second
May 14, 2004 20:18 IST
Kolkata's Mohammedan Sporting lost their concluding match in the National Football League to Dempo Sports Club of Goa 2-3 and was relegated to the second division.
Sporting, who needed to win Friday's match at Margao, Goa, and hope that Tollygunge Agragrami slip up against Mahindra United, failed to rise to the occasion and were trailing by two goals at the breather.
After Ishfaq Ahamad (12th, 55th minutes) and substitute Alex Ambrose (69th) scored to put Dempo 3-0 ahead, Syed Nabi scored a brace (77th and 85th minutes) to reduced the margin for the visitors but the late effort was in vain.
Thus, Mohammedan Sporting, who finished with 19 points from 22 matches, were relegated along with Indian Bank.
Dempo, who finished runners-up behind champions East Bengal, aggregated 45 points.
Dempo dominated the match and drew first blood in the 12th minute when Ishfaq Ahamad beat the Mohammedan custodian after dribbling past a host of rival defenders off a pass from Mohammed Gafari.
Dempo could have easily led by 3-0 margin in the first half itself had not Sunday Seah wasted two open chances with only keeper Gumpe Rime to beat.
Dempo increased the lead in the 55th minute when Ishfaq Ahamad scored off a fine move between Mohammed Gafari and substitute Alex Ambrose.
Ambrose then made the issue safe when he scored from close off defender John Barreto's pass.