An injury time goal by Climax Lawerence helped Dempo hold a ten-man Mahindra United to a 2-2 draw and take a point from the fourth round I-League match, at the Nehru stadium, in Margao, Goa, on Friday.
Dempo surged ahead in the 12th minute through a penalty from Ranty Martins. Mahindra fought back resolutely in the second half after being down to ten men and equalized through substitute Svetozar Mijin in the 61st minute.
Steven Dias then put Mahindra ahead three minutes later, but Dempo fought back and equalized in stoppage time through Lawerence.
Both teams have eight points from four matches. Dempo continues to lead the table on better goal difference.
Martins converted a penalty that Dempo won in the 12th minute after Mahindra's Dharmaraj Ravanan handled the ball inside the box.
Ravanan compounded Mahindra's woes when he was given the marching orders in the 36th minute for deliberately elbowing Marcus Peixoto in the face.
Mahindra keeper Subshasish Roy Chowdhury brought off fine saves to deny Martins, Anthony Fernandes, Sunil Chettri and Robeto D'Silva from causing further damage.
After the change of ends, Mahindra coach David Booth replaced K Ajayan with striker Svetozar Mijin and the move paid off. The Seberian found the equalizer in the 61st minute when he essayed a firm right-footer from the top of the box that beat Dempo's keeper Tyson Caido to his left and found the net at the far post.
Mahindra, India's 'Red Devils', struck again three minutes later through Dias, who sent a rasping drive from inside the box off a pass from Mijin.
Dempo pressed hard and finally found the equalizer in injury time when Lawerence headed home from a corner, taken by Anthony Fernandes on the right.