New Delhi: I-League champions Dempo Sports Club produced a listless performance to go down 0-2 against Al Ansar of Lebanon in their AFC Cup group A away match.
Dempo, who had begun their AFC Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Al Tilal of Yemen at home, were outplayed by their rivals at Sports City Stadium in Beirut last night.
Edson Luis Nascimento (32nd) and Ali Nassereddine (63rd) scored for Al Ansar against a surprisingly subdued and defensive Dempo.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco chose to start with just one man up front -- Nigerian striker Ranti Martins. The strategy was clearly to pack the midfield and focus on stopping their opponents from moving forward.
But that ploy did not work as Al Ansar`s midfielders easily managed to find a way past the five-man Dempo defence.
Al Ansar had a first look at the Dempo goal inside five minutes when Nassereddine picked up a ball from the right flank and hit a snap shot that struck the crossbar and rebounded back into play.
Nassereddine was again in the thick of the action in the 14th minute but his acrobatic shot sailed over the bar.
He was then left to curse his luck in the 21st minute when his strike beat Dempo goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury but hit the outside of the post.
Al Nasar drew first blood in the 32nd minute with Mohammad Atwi`s cross from the left and was connected by Edson into the Dempo goal.
Once Al Ansar had their noses in front, there was no looking back.
The hosts started the second-half confidently and the second goal came from Nassereddine in the 63rd minute.
Nassereddine dodged past at least three Dempo defenders before firing the ball at the top corner of the net.
Dempo did not have much to show throughout the match. Their best chance came early in the first half when Clifford Miranda`s free-kick hit the post.
Martins and Brazilian Roberto Mendis Silva unleashed a couple of long-range shots, which Al Ansar goalkeeper Hassan Moghnieh managed to tip over.
Substitute Joaquim Abranches also made a couple of runs late in the match but lacked clinical finish.