Pailan Arrows scored a goal in each half to down 10-man Dempo 2-0 in the 23rd round of the I-League at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Saturday.
Pailan Arrows made best use of Dempo's poor run as they scored through Holicharan Nazary (3rd) and Alwyn Geroge (85th) to take their tally to 23 points from 22 matches while the defending champions Dempo, who are clearly out of form, remained on 35 points from 23 matches.
Pailan made early forays and took the lead in the 3rd minute after Holichandran Narzary, who saw his header hit the bar in the first minute, collected a pass inside the box and drilled a low shot past onrushing keeper Kattimani to have his team leading 1-0 at half time.
Narzary, Doungel and Alwyn George combined well for Pailan Arrows as they made few darting runs to trouble the home side.
Dempo slowly regrouped and tried to make inroads into the rival box and had the best chance in the 15th minute to restore parity but Koko Sakibo failed to beat the visitors keeper Sayan Roy with his header.
Dempo who were looking to come back strongly in the second half received a set back after defender Cresent Antao was sent out by referee Santosh Kumar for a second bookable offence which helped the visitors controlled the proceeding.
Dempo's coach made two quick changes bringing in John Menyongar and Joy Ferrao in place of Anthony Pereira and Joaquim Abranches and the move paid off as they made in roads into the rival half putting pressure on the visitors defence and nearly succeeded in finding the equaliser but for the keeper who dived to his right to put out John Menyongar shot off Joy Ferrao pass from inside the box.
With Dempo piling pressure on Pailan Arrows citadel, the visitors came with a counter move and sealed the fate of the home side of any come back when Alwyn George header beat the keeper Kattimani to find the back of the net off a cross from Doungel.
Dempo tried their best to come into the match but rival keeper Sayan Roy was alert to avert danger from Rowlison Rodrigues in the stoppage time.