GOA: Salgaocar Football Club showed remarkable character to defeat Shillong Lajong FC 2-1 despite being reduced to ten-men at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Tuesday.
Darryl Duffy gave Salgaocar the lead in the 19th minute while Glen Cornell equalized for Shillong Lajong in the 25th minute after Salgaocar defender Augustin Fernandes was sent off for handling the ball. Douhou Pierre scored to make it 2-1 just two minutes before the breather.
Derrick Pereira did not start with any of his new signings – Yemeni international Khaled Belaid and Sanju Pradhan – but Salgaocar Football Club had balance at the start. Not surprisingly they called the shots at the start and it was Darryl Duffy’s weak finishing that denied them the lead in the early stages of the match.
Duffy, though, made amends in the 19th minute when he gave finishing touches to a brilliant move initiated by Rocus Lamare. The Salgaocar captain floated a ball to Gilbert Oliveira on the right and the midfielder found Douhou Pierre unmarked into the danger zone. Douhou picked the ball but instead of taking aim at goal relayed the ball to Duffy who did the rest with a brilliant flick for Salgaocar’s opening goal.
The goal seemed in line with the proceedings on the field of play but Shillong, with Glenn Cornell in fine, were always going to be a threat. It was Glenn who threatened to restore parity and appeared to have succeeded when his reverse kick was handled on the goalline by defender Augustine Fernandes. The referee spotted the infringement in the 23rd minute and promptly awarded a spot kick: Augustine was also issued the marching orders, reducing Salgaocar to ten men.
Salgaocar goalkeeper Subrata Paul, however, stopped the penalty but two minutes later he could do nothing as Glen’s left footer from outside the box sailed into the far corner of the net to bring Shillong Lajong on level terms.
Salgaocar, despite the numerical disadvantage, surged ahead for the second time in the match in the 43rd minute of play, thanks to a fine effort from Douhou Pierre. The Ivorian controlled a long ball from the centre, beat his marker Minchol Son and then beat goalkeeper TP Reheneesh with a grounder to make it 2-1 just a minute before the break.
Shillong Lajong did not have too many chances in the second session and were restricted to testing goalkeeper Subrata Paul through long rangers. The closest that anybody came to finding the equalizer was four minutes from close when Aibor Khongjee’s stunning long range effort was tipped over by Subrata.
Hero of the Match – Subrata Paul (SFC)