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    AFC Cup: A thrilling victory for Dempo

    New Delhi: There’s something about AFC Cup as it manages to bring the best from the Indian champions. Dempo SC pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory over Jordan’s Al Faisaly in a Group E encounter at the Amman International Stadium.

    With back-to-back victories, Dempo find themselves on top of the group which has the likes of defending champions Al Muharraq who were held by Al Maged in a 1-1 draw.

    A brace by Nigerian striker Ranti Martins coupled with goals from Clifford Miranda and Anthony Pereira sealed the victory for last year’s semi-finalists.

    Dempo took a shock lead in the 22nd minute when Ranti Martin’s cross from the right saw Clifford Miranda do the rest in front of the net. A few minutes later, Beto and Anthony Pereira combined with the latter doing enough to slot it home.

    Just before half-time. Al Faisaly almost pulled a goal back in the 30th minute when Qusai Abu Alieh collected a neat pass from Abukeshek but his strike came back off the woodwork.

    But the Goan side had other ideas and the scoreline read 3-0 at half time with Ranti Martins getting on the scoresheet.

    At the start of the second session, Al Faisaly made two changes with goalkeeper Mohammad Haider Halawa making way for Zapen Alkhawaldeh and defender Abdulahah Alhanahneh was substituted by striker Salim Ali Mansour.

    The home side got its reward instantly as Salim Mansour didn’t disappoint as he pulled one back for his side. The substitute could have added another had his shot not hit the woodwork while the rebound was put wide by Moayad Abukeshek.

    But this wasn’t to be as Ranti Martins scored his second of the night which put the Indians in a commanding position. However, the two time AFC Cup champions weren’t in the mood to throw in the towel as they scored two quick goals through Moayad Abukeshek.

    The final moments were nervy and in the end, it was Dempo reigned supreme.

    Goalscorers Dempo SC: Clifford Miranda (23rd min), Anthony Pereira (28th min) and Ranti Martins (43rd and 70th mins)

    Goalscorers Al Faisaly: Salim Mansour (55th min) and Moayad Abukeshek (72nd and 75th mins)

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