Margao: Title aspirants Dempo settled for a goalless draw with Salgaocar at the end of the eight round of the ninth National Football League here Thursday.
Dempo, who lost to Fransa in their previous match, started positively and had two scoring chances, but R. C. Prakash wasted both.
Dempo came back strongly in the closing stage but were denied by Salgaocar goalkeeper Juje Siddi. They even wasted a penalty in the dying minutes when Melvin Rodrigues' shot was saved by Siddi, diving to his right.
Dempo now have 14 points from seven matches while Salgaocar have eight from eight matches.
Salgaocar took time to settle down and dictated terms in the last quarter of the first half and came close to scoring twice but first Jerose failed to score and later Micky Fernandes stitched a fine move on the right setting Felix Ibrebru who outsped rival defenders but failed to get past 'keeper Satish Kumar.
Satish charged out and dived to deny Felix from scoring and in the process hurt himself and was replaced by Francis Fernandes.
Salgaocar continued to hold edge over their rivals but lacked coordination upfront as they failed to test the Dempo keeper seriously.
However, it was Dempo who came off with dangerous moves and spelt danger in the rival goal and forced Juje Siddi to make two saves off Ranty Martins and Clifford Miranda's shot.
Referee Walter Pereira erred in the 40th minute when he awarded a penalty for Dempo for a foul on Martins by Prashant Jaggi inside the box.
Melvin Rodrigues failed to beat 'keeper Siddi who dived to his right.