I-league champions Dempo earned three points against Shillong Lajong, defeating them by a solitary first-half goal, while Pailan Arrows held Mumbai [ Images ] FC 2-2 in Group A encounter of the 34th Federation Cup football tournament in Jamshedpur on Friday.
Playing at the JRD Tata Sports complex, Dempo, who drew 1-1 with AIFF's developmental side Pailan Arrows in the opener, went on an all out effort on a slippery ground to pick full points against the spirited north-east side.
Both the sides relied on long passes on a sloggy ground, caused by heavy rain.
Dempo surged ahead in the 44th minute through a brilliant free-kick from Clifford Miranda, awarded following a foul just on top of the penalty box.
Trailing 0-1, Shillong Lajong regrouped, but the Dempo defenders successfully thwarted them.
Shillong Lajong's Wailadmi Passah and Lalramluaha were cautioned for reckless tackles.
Dempo have four points from two outings while Shillong Lajong have three from one win in two matches.
In the other Group 'A' match, foreign recruit Ndobuisi Opara, who scored both the goals in each half, put the Mumbai team into the lead in the 12th minute when he brilliantly placed the ball inside the rival post.
Pailan Arrows restored parity just before half-time. Striker D Ganesh received an accurate cross and headed home seconds before the breather.
After both the teams were locked 1-1 at half time, Mumbai FC went ahead again through a header off Opara in the 62nd minute, but substitute Deepak Devrani scored the equaliser in the 78th minute.
Mumbai FC, who lost to Shillong Lajong in the opener, have one point from two matches while Pailan Arrows have two from as many.