Dempo beats Home United to enter AFC Cup semis

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Singapore, Sep 23 (UNI) Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva struck a brace as Dempo edged out Home United 4-3 in a thrilling encounter to become the first Indian club to enter the semifinals of the AFC Cup here today.

Needing a win or at least a 2-2 draw to progress to the next round after the 1-1 draw in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie at Hyderabad, the Goans were on the attack right from the start.

They put their noses ahead in the very first minute when their Congolese striker Mboyo Iwomi capitalised on a defensive error to find the net from close range.

Home United drew level against the run of play when skipper Peres De Oliveira (13th min) scored after a quick counterattack.

But the home team could not rejoice for long. Silva (25th min) headed home a corner from Clifford Miranda as Dempo regained the lead.

Home United suffered a setback in the 30th minute when Valery Hiek was given marching orders for a second bookable offence.

But the local team, playing in front of a capacity home crowd, refused to go down without a fight. Indra Sahdan Daud (36th min) scored their second goal, firing in the rebound after Oliveira's penalty was blocked by Dempo goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal.

He gave his team the lead just two minutes later, directing Kengne Ludovick's cross from the right into the net.

Climax Lawrence scored in first half injury time as the teams were locked 3-3 at half-time.

Despite being a man down, Home United were the more aggressive side after the break with Indra and Ludovick constantly probing the Dempo defence.

Silva (83rd min) completed his brace when he powered in the winner from a loose ball inside the rival box.

Home United's Ludovick had the ball in the net a minute later but the referee's assistant had his flag up for an infringement.

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