Dempo Sports Club came back into the reckoning by defeating Mohammedan Sporting 2-0 in their ninth round ONGC I-League match at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Thursday.
Both the goals came in the first-half.
Anthony Periera put the Goans ahead early in the game, and striker Ranty Martins consolidated the lead five minutes before the breather.
With this victory Dempo propelled themselves to the fourth in the league table, having collected 14 points from nine matches, while Mohammedans slid down to ninth place with as many points from same number of outings.
After the ninth round, Sporting Club de Goa lead the table with 19 points and are followed by Air India (Mumbai) and Mohun Bagan, who have 15 and 14 points respectively.
Churchill Brothers and Dempo have 14 points and a similar goal difference of plus-6, but the former have three victories compared to Dempo's four.
With Man of the Match Climax Lawrence scheming their moves, Dempo dominated the proceedings and came near scoring early. But a Beto attempt was nicely saved by Mohammedan 'keeper Tharanga. Tharanga brought off a number of saves to restrict the margin to two goals only.
But Dempo did not have to wait long for the lead as striker Periera, off a nice pass from defender Samir Naik, unleashed a powerful left-footer for which Tharanga had no answer.
Dempo kept up their pressure and doubled their lead in the 40th minute. Forward Joachim's shot was palmed out by Tharanga, and an opportunistic Ranty Martins, who was lurking in the rival area unmarked, found the target with a right-footer.
The second-half saw Mohammedans make some desparate attempts but failed to reduce the margin as the Goa team's custodian Satish Kumar thwarted all attempts.