Dempo Sports Club broke their sequence of losses and returned to the top of the table after securing a 3-2 win over Sporting Clube de Goa at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa, on Thursday.
Dempo were down by an early first half goal but Joy Ferrao first restored parity, then Koko Sakibo rose from the bench to put the former champions ahead before Ranty Martins settled the issue. Dawson Fernandes had scored Sporting Clube's opening goal and Joyner Lourenco added another one in the third minute of added time.
With the victory, Dempo move to the top of the table with 24 points from 11 matches while Sporting Clube stay on 13 points from 11 matches.
Eager to put the three consecutive losses behind them, Dempo started strongly and should have been ahead early in the game had Joy Ferrao's half-volley not kissed the goalpost and sailed out of play.
Sporting Clube surged ahead immediately after resumption when Stephen Barreto's cross from the right should have been converted by Moga in front of the goal instead it was Dawson who took everyone by surprise when his reverse kick landed in the goal.
Dempo took the setback in their stride and continued attacking. True enough they found the goal in the 63nd minute.
Dempo surged ahead in the 74th minute when Climax Lawrence put Koko through and the Nigerian striker was left with the simplest of task to beat Milagrio Medeira under the Sporting goal.
Ranty Martins scored the team's third goal six minutes from close. There was still time for another goal but this time, it were Sporting Clube who benefited as Joyner Lourenco came up with a stunning 40-yarder that found the top corner of the nets.
Godwin Franco was declared the Man of the Match.
Mohun Bagan hold Salgaocar
McDowell Mohun Bagan were held to goalless draw by defending champions Salgaocar SC in a crucial I-League match at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata. Courtsey the result, Bagan move to 21 points from 11 matches, while Salgaocar move to 13 points from same number of matches.
Bagan who missed a number of their key players due to injury couldn't capitalise on the home advantage. Bagan started with Ashim partnering Odafa Okolie upfront but there wasn't much cohesion in the midfield.
On the other hand, Salgaocar depended a lot on Edeh with Ryuji Sueoka playing the perfect foil to him from a withdrawn position.
Chidi Edeh was declared the Man-of-the-Match.
Mumbai FC drub HAL
In another match, Mumbai FC proved too strong for bottom-ranked HAL at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune. Mumbai FC won 4-0. Abhishek Yadav scored a brace while Cavin Lobo and Gbeneme Friday scored one apiece.
Mumbai FC by virtue of this win move to 11 points from as many matches while HAL stay on 1 point from 11 matches.
Abhishek Yadav was named the Man-of-the-match.