Dempo Sports Club survived a scare in the dying minutes to edge past Fransa Pax 2-1 and stay in contention for the National Football League title, in Margao, Goa, on Saturday.
Dempo dominated the first half and took the lead in the 20th minute after initial resistance from the Fransa rearguard, when Clifford Miranda uncorked a fierce grounder that found the far corner of the net.
R C Prakash, Ranty Martins and Clifford Miranda combined well upfront as they harried the rival defence and Fransa 'keeper Kalyan Chaubey had to bring off saves off Prakash's attempts twice at the goal mouth and once from Riston Rodrigues.
However, Prakash increased the lead in the dying minutes of the first half when he tapped home a low cross from Martins.
Fransa, who could not test the rival keeper Satish Kumar seriously in the first half, pulled one back in the dying minutes when substitute Biju Kumar scored off a cross by Benjamin Ansa after man-of-the-match 'keeper Satish Kumar brought off a brilliant save off Joseph Igor.
With the win, Dempo moved to the second spot in the league standings behind Sporting Clube de Goa with 41 points from 19 matches.
Fransa remain in fifth place with 29 points from 20 matches.
Referee Pradip Kumar showed yellow cards to Fransa's Sanjeev Maria, Joseph Igor and Dempo's Bolaji Majeck.