Dempo Sports Club turned in a scintillating display in the closing stages but had to settle for a goalless draw against Fransa Pax in an ONGC [ Get Quote ] National Football League match, at the Nehru stadium, in Margao, Goa [ Images ], on Saturday.
This is the second consecutive draw for both teams in the league.
Dempo had earlier drawn against Sporting Clube de Goa, while Fransa drew with JCT. Both have two points each.
Fransa found their momentum early in the match as they put Dempo under pressure. South African Sydney [ Images ] Nkalanga, who is taken on loan from East Bengal, played his first match for Fransa and was an able ally to Brazilian Ivan D'Silva upfront. The duo troubled the Dempo defence.
Sydney had three scoring chances but failed to beat 'keeper Abhijit Mondal.
Mondal, who was Dempo's hero in the last drawn match against Sporting Clube, again stood the test as he put out a fierce shot by D'Silva in each half to deny Fransa victory.
Dempo's Ranty Martins was heavily marked and with the supply line not functioning, the defending champions could do nothing to test the rival keeper in the first half. Teasing crosses by Sameer Naik and Ranty Martins kept the rival defence busy, but Fransa 'keeper Virender Singh did well averted any danger.
But the change of ends saw Dempo call the shots. They were unlucky not to score when Jules Dias's shot missed the target narrowly and Roberto Silva's shot went straight into keeper's Singh hands.
Dempo brought in Joaquim Abranches in place of Roberto Silva and the move paid off as they put Fransa under pressure in the last 15 minutes. They nearly tasted success, but Ranty Martins' shots was twice put out by Virender Singh.
Virender was later named man of the match.