Jamshedpur: Dempo SC survived a scare in their opening match of the Federation Cup when Pailan Arrows held them to a 1-1 draw at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Wednesday.
In the other Group A encounter at the Keenan Stadium, Lajong FC beat Mumbai FC 2-1.
Dempo were considered as the favourites in the match and were expected to rule the proceedings. However, it was the AIFF’s developmental side who dominated the match.
The Calcutta-based outfit played positive football and managed to penetrate the rival defence every now and then.
It was Dempo who got the first chance of the match when Peter Carvalho’s right-footer was saved by Arrows custodian Soren Porei Angamba in the sixth minute.
Captain Clifford Miranda’s grounder also met the same fate before Climax Lawrence's shot hit the bar much to the disappointment of the Dempo camp.
Arrows also missed a scoring opportunity when Avinabo Bag failed to convert a cross from Alwyn George.
It was in the 48th minute that the deadlock was broken. Taking advantage of a melee near the Dempo goalmouth, Holicharan Narzary dodged a Dempo defender to push the ball past the dashing goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury in the 52nd minute.
Arrows would have made it 2-0 two minutes later had Narzary's powerful right-footer not missed the goal by a whisker. Narzary was in the thick of action again as his shot hit the crossbar in the 57th minute.