Margao, Dec 28 (UNI) Dempo squandered few winning opportunities and had to be content with a 1-1 draw against Mahindra United and split points in their 8th round ONGC I- League Championship match held here at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda today.
K Ajayan scored for Mahindra in the 16th minute, while Nicolau Borgues equalised for Dempo in the 21st minute.
Dempo with this drawn match increased their points tally to 18 from eight outings and kept their unbeaten run intact, while Mahindra United moved on to 11 points from equal number of matches.
Dempo could have romped home by atleast three goals, had they utilised the advantages before them in both the halves of the game but, luck did not smile on them.
In an evenly balanced first half, which was restricted to midfield for the major part, Dempo maintained an edge.
Mahindra shot into the lead as early as in the 16th minute through K Ajyan off a defence splitting pass by foreigner Djouhue Pierre.
Stung by an early debacle, Dempo rallied in the 21st minute through Nicolau Borgues following a flag kick taken by Anthony Pereira.
Inspired by an equaliser, Dempo attacked vigorously and came up with two splendid opportunities but, squandered the easy chances.
In the 27th minute, Renty Martin's header sailed over the bar off a flag by Sameer Naik. Later, in the 35th minute, Roberto Mendes Silva's (Beto) direct free kick crashed into the frame work and rebounded into the play.
At half time, both the teams had scored one goal each, bringing it to a tie. Dempo continued to attack and made some desperate match winning attempts but, lacked in sting.
In the 78th minute, Nicolau Borgues initiated a move and passed to Renty Martin, whose shot was smartly blocked by Mahindra Goalkeeper Sandeep Nandy.
Five minutes before the whistle, Dempo had another chance to score when Renty Martin laid a pass to substitute Peter Carvalho, whose shot hit the rival goalkeeper and went out for an abortive corner.
Mahindra goalkeeper Sandeep Nandy was adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance.