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Rediff.com  » Sports » AFC Cup: Dempo held by Al Muharraq

AFC Cup: Dempo held by Al Muharraq

April 08, 2009 17:15 IST

A goal deep into stoppage time snapped Dempo's winning spree in the AFC Cup as the Goan outfit settled for a 1-1 against defending champions Al Muharraq in the Group E match at the Bahrain National Stadium on Tuesday night.

Dempo struck first when Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva 'Beto' fired in a volley in the 75th minute. 

However, the defending champions, desperate to register their first win in this year's campaign, managed to level score through Abdulla Al Dakeel in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time. 

Despite the draw, Dempo -- on seven points -- lead the charts followed by Al Maged on four, according to information received.

The Syrian club defeated Jordan's Al Faisaly 2-1 in another Group E encounter. Al Muharraq, after three successive draws, are on three with Faisaly bringing up the rear on one point.

Al Muharraq suffered a blow early into the game when influential midfielder Mohamed Salmeen got injured and had to be replaced by Abdulla Saleh.

Dempo custodian Abhijit Mondal then saved a stiff shot from Fahad Al Hardan as they defending champions stepped on the gas in search for an elusive win. 

They got another chance in the 20th minute but Dakeel's header was cleared off the goal line.

Dakeel got yet another chance to open his account but headed Rashed Al Doseri's cross wide in the 64th minute.

In between Dempo too came up with a chance of their own.

Nigerian striker Ranty Martins' effort from a Climax Lawrence cross missed the left top corner by inches.      However, Beto made the hosts pay for their profligacy when he collected a ball inside the Al Muharraq box and fired in a volley that beat goalkeeper Sayed Mohamed Jaafar. 

A minute later the hosts came close to finding the equaliser but Husain Ali's shot found the woodwork. 

Al Muharraq finally managed to grab a point when Ali fired in a shot which was turned home by Abdulla Al Dakeel.

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