Dempo saw plenty of chances squandered as the Golden Eagles were frustrated at home by the Red LizardsDempo SC could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Pune FC in a round 11 I-League fixture at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Wednesday. Beto put the Goan side ahead in the 47th minute before Mustapha Riga equalized for the visitors in the 51st minute.
Arthur Papas was left bereaved of options in defense with Simon Colosimo and Shinnosuke Honda injured. He opted to start with Selwyn Fernandes and Debabrata Roy as his two center-backs. Holicharan Narzary and Joy Ferrao were the two men in attack.
On the other side, Mike Snoei could avail of the services of Callum Angus who returned after recovering from a muscle injury while fielding goalkeeper Amrinder Singh and midfielder Nikhil Kadam as his two under-23 players as compared to Dempo's four.
Ferrao got in the thick of the action right after kick-off. His shot that came off Amrinder Singh and almost fell for Beto, but a defender cleared it in time.
Holicharan Narzary had Prabir Das on his right, but took a shot at goal that was parried away by the Pune FC custodian in the eighth minute while moments later, Callum Angus' free-kick was blocked by the Dempo wall and trickled towards keeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
There wasn't much more action in the first half besides a few half chances that fell to both sides wherein Dempo's Ferrao and Pune's Mustapha Riga weren't able to make the best of their opportunities and the teams went into the break goalless.
This game needed a breakthrough and the second half was quick to oblige. Two minutes after the restart, Beto latched onto a pass from Narzary and finished to give his side the lead with the Pune defenders unable to react in time.
The visitors however only took four minutes to respond. Pierre's accurate square pass was finished off by Riga even though Kattimani got a hand to the shot.
In the 74th minute, Gabriel Fernandes and Jewel Raja combined well with the latter playing in Alwyn George who was in a fantastic position to tap home and put the hosts back in front but from only a few yards out, he pulled his shot wide instead.
Five minutes later, Beto was denied a certain goal by Amrinder having been set up by Gabriel. In the 84th minute, the Brazilian's free-kick struck the wall but on the second attempt he was able to cross for Alwyn whose header crashed against the far post before Peter Carvalho attempted an overhead volley on the rebound that was well off target.
An injury time corner from Beto saw Carvalho head wide from a great position and that proved to be the last chance in the game as the score remained 1-1 at full time. The draw saw Pune go level on points with Bengaluru FC and Salgaocar FC at the top of the table while Dempo moved into eighth spot for the time being.
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