Margao: Dempo Sports Club regained their place at the top with 4-1 victory over Shillong Lajong Football Club in a fifth round clash of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Saturday.
Dempo struggled to enforce themselves in a manner they usually do but a brace from Ryuji Sueoka, including a penalty, and one each from Clifford Miranda and Anthony Pereira were enough to take their points tally to 13 and placed ahead of Churchill Brothers (12). Shillong Lajong pulled a goal back in the second session through Jibon Singh but the visitors, in the end, paid a price for their lack of experience.
Joaquim Abranches missed from close range as early as the fifth minute and then Anthony Pereira's blistering attempt struck the crossbar. But it was not until the stroke of half time that Dempo managed to take the lead.
A long ball from Dempo's half saw Anthony Pereira and Climax Lawrence interchange nicely. Climax then controlled the ball and essayed a cross into the heart of the Lajong goalmouth where Sueoka was on hand to head home. In the second session, Lajong came out strong and Lalramluaha Hmar missed to open the account.
At the other end, in the 50th minute, Dempo made it 2-0 when a quick move initiated by Peter Carvalho saw Anthony Pereira cross into the goalmouth where Sueoka headed the ball only to find the post. He again shot from the rebound which was saved brilliantly by Lajong goalkeeper Lalthuammawia, but the next rebound fell nicely at the feet of Clifford Miranda who scored with ease.
When all seemed lost, Lajong showed they were still in the game with a goal in the 73rd minute. The dangerous Lalramluaha was in the thick of action, and this time he beat goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury with a brilliant in-stepper after being fed by Sushil.
Despite a couple of more attacks on goal, the equaliser, though, eluded them. Instead, it was Dempo who scored two more goals as the hosts first won a penalty which Sueoka easily converted in the 87th minute of play and then Anthony also added his name to the scoresheet with a simple tap in added time.