New Delhi: I-League champion Dempo defeated Home United 4-3 in Singapore on Tuesday to become the first team from India to make it to the semifinals of the AFC Cup.

The Goan club, which was held 1-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals in Hyderabad last Wednesday, came out firing on all cylinders and at the final whistle did what East Bengal and Mahindra United could not do — earn a place in the last four stage.

Early strike

Needing a win or at least a 2-2 draw to progress, Armando Colaco’s boys got things moving when Congolese player Mboyo Iwomi, who had netted the equaliser in the first leg, scored in the very first minute.

Home United skipper Peres De Oliveira nullified Dempo’s advantage when he found the net in the 14th minute following a quick counterattack.

Dempo’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva then got into the act and scored his first goal in the 25th minute, rising high to head home Clifford Miranda’s corner.

Sahdan’s double

The local side restored parity in the 36th minute after Kengne Ludovick was brought down in the box. Though De Oliveira’s penalty was parried by Abhijit Mondal, Indra Sahdan was on hand to slot in the rebound from close range.

Two minutes later Sahdan got his second goal by diverting a low cross from Ludovick. However, Climax Lawrence’s low drive in injury time meant the teams went into the break on even terms.

Roberto Mendes Silva scored Dempo’s winner in the 83rd minute by drilling a shot past Lionel Lewis. — Agencies

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