The Red Machines secured a point after straight three defeats.
Dempo Sports Club failed to cement their runners-up place as they were held to an entertaining 3-3 draw by Churchill Brothers Sports Club in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.
With a point each, Dempo has 45 points from 21 matches, while Churchill climbed to the 7th place with 20 points from 19 matches.
Dempo who had lost title race to Sporting Clube de Goa with a narrow defeat in the last match had few changes as their coach Samir Naik gave chance to Desmon Pereira, Gaurish Naik, Jaison Vaz and Edwin Viegas in the starting XI, while Churchill who suffered a massive 5-2 defeat at the hands of Salgaocar FC in the last match also had few changes as their coach Alfred Fernandes brought back Suraj Singh, Nicholas Fernandes, James Fernandes and Valerio Rodrigues in the playing XI.
It was just seven minutes on the match clock when Dempo skipper Nickson Castanha put his side ahead with a beautiful free-kick from the 20-yards which hit the first post and entered the goal to make it 1-0 for Dempo.
However, they could not hold the lead for long as within next three minutes Churchill found the equaliser as James snatched the ball from Dempo defender Gaurish and shot past keeper Agnelo Gomes from the top of the box to make it all square for the Red Machines.
The Golden Eagles once again surged ahead in the 24th minute when Churchill defenders could not manage to clear Latesh Mandrekar’s well-taken corner, taking advantage of the same U-20 Nestor Dias quickly tapped in from close to make it 2-1 for his side.
Down by a goal, Churchill coach Alfred brought in Uttam Rai to replace Sevlon Cardozo at the half-time and the forward proved his calibre in the very first minute of the second session as he easily cut past two defenders and brilliantly beat the keeper Agnelo with a powerful strike from the top of the box to once again level the terms.
Pumped up by an equaliser, Churchill came out all attacking and surged ahead for the first time in the match when their Trinidadian forward Willis Plaza brilliantly put the ball in the net from close after Dempo keeper paired Valerio’s corner, making it 3-2 for the Red Machines.
However, in the 65th minute, Kapil Hoble made it all square for the Golden eagles when he smartly finished the ball at the far post from just inside, off Nestor’s defence-splitting through pass to make it 3-3.
Ten minutes later, Dempo had the best chance to take the lead when substitute Suraj Hadkonkar found Kapil in the box but his powerful strike was nicely blocked by Churchill keeper James Kithan. Whereas another chance went in vain for the Golden Eagles when Jaison was left with just keeper to beat but the midfielder shot wide from close.