KOLKATA: Goa giant Dempo SC beat Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore, by a solitary goal in a pre-quarterfinal encounter of the 28th Federation Cup football tournament at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.

Striker Anthony Pereira scored the decisive goal in the 25th minute of the match to put Dempo in the last eight stage.

Except for the goal, there was not much action in the first half. Ranty Martin received a cross from Samir Naik, who had overlapped on the flanks, and shot a cracking grounder. HAL custodian Gumphe Rime managed to block the shot, but the ball rebounded straight to Pereira who made no mistake.

HAL, promoted to the National Football League this season, wasted its only chance in the first session as Kuttimani, who had a clear look at the goal on receiving a Ragu Singh corner, shot over.

Lack of pressure from the opposition seemed to slow down Dempo, which came close to enlarging the lead in the 64th minute. However, Miranda saw his header, off a corner taken by Brazilian Roberto Silva, sail over the crosspiece.

In the second match of the day, Kingfisher East Bengal beat State Bank of Travancore through two first half goals. Syed Rahim Nabi and Alvito D'Cunha were the scorers. East Bengal will now take on Dempo. Principal Correspondent

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