Dempo Sports Club scored two goals in the last four minutes as they rallied to grab a point against Mumbai FC at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Saturday.
Mumbai FC were cruising along nicely as goals from Evans Quao and ND Opara meant they were two goals ahead and with only a few minutes to play. Dempo, however, roared back to life and drew the game, thanks to goals from substitutes Peter Carvalho and Koko Sakibo.
The draw left Dempo with 35 points, four behind leaders East Bengal and three behind Churchill Brothers who still have a match in hand. East Bengal have played an additional match.
Mumbai FC, one of the biggest surprises in the league, are placed sixth with 26 points from 18 matches.
Dempo were expecting a smooth run in this tie and hoping to narrow the gap between them and the league leaders. But they were in for a major surprise as Mumbai FC came hard at them and took the battle to the opposition.
Dempo goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury had to come to his sides rescue in the 24th minute as Opara and Yakubu Yusif threatened to open the account. Just two minutes earlier, the Dempo goalkeeper had come off his line to thwart Opara after Rowilson Rodrigues’ clearance had left a lot to be desired.
Mumbai FC finally surged ahead in the 40th minute when Nicholas Rodrigues’ free-kick from the right hit the upright and bounced back. Evans Quao, who was well positioned, only had to hammer the ball past the hapless looking goalkeeper.
Mumbai FC made it 2-0 in the 67th minute when Opara struck with a well-timed long ranger. Dempo never lost faith in themselves and it surprised nobody when Dempo substitute Peter Carvalho headed in a cross from Anthony Pereira in the 86th minute.
Just a minute later Mumbai FC’s James Singh was sent off for a second bookable offence and Dempo lapped that advantage with their second goal in the last minute of play, this time througth another substitute, Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo.