Kolkata: Former champions Dempo kept their semifinal hopes alive after outplaying Mohammedan Sporting 3-1 in their group C fixture of the 33rd Federation Cup at the floodlit Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Monday.
After suffering a shock 1-2 defeat at the hands of Pune FC in their tournament opener, Dempo returned to winning ways with first-half goals from Ranti Martins, Clifford Miranda and Koko Sakibo.
Mohammedan Sporting, who drew against defending champions East Bengal in their first match, pulled one back through Stanley Okoroigwe in second period.
Dempo (three points) climbed up to second spot behind leaders East Bengal (four), while Pune FC (three) dropped to third place on goal difference as it`s a three-way race for the semifinalists from group C.
On September 21, Dempo will lock horns with East Bengal, while Pune FC will face Mohammedan Sporting to decide the group toppers who make the last four.
Martins fired in an early lead with a third minute goal, while Miranda doubled the lead in the 25th minute.
The Goans` new signing from Vasco, Sakibu, gave Mohammedan Sporting the third blow with a 35th minute goal as Dempo took a commanding 3-0 lead at the break.
Mohammedan Sporting`s consolation goal came through their recruit from Cyprus, Stanley Okoroigwe who struck in the 65th minute.