Dempo's campaign in the AFC Cup took off on a bright note as they held on gamely to a Ranty Martin's first half strike to down Syrian club Al Maged 1-0 in the Group E league match at the Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.
Dempo, who started cautiously, played quick short passes and took the lead in the 24th minute.
The hosts were awarded a free-kick after defender Ali Al Rifaai brought down Clifford Miranda on top of the box. Roberto Mendes' effort was deflected in to the far corner by Martins.
Stung by the goal, the visitors mounted pressure and pushed last year's AFC Cup semi-finalists into their own half. But the Dempo defence did well to thwart the visitors.
The nearest Al Maged came to scoring was in the 32nd minute when a lob from Dame Junior was headed by Abdulhadi-Al-Sharoua Ali Hariri, but goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal was alert to task.