Salgaocar, Pailan in goalless draw

MARGAO: Living up to their new-found reputation of putting across top teams, youthful Pailan Arrows on Sunday held former champions Salgaocar Football Club to a goalless draw and shared spoils in their I-League encounter at Nehru Staduim, Fatorda.

There was no score throughout the 90 minutes duel even as Salgaocar had four shots hitting the post.

With Sunday’s drawn encounter Pailan Arrows have collected 7 points from three matches, having earlier beaten Mumbai FC and Air India, while Salgaocar FC on the other hand have only two points as they were earlier beaten by Baichung Bhutia’s United Sikkim and had a draw against Shillong Lajong.

Salgaocar could have carried the day had the four valuable shots, two from Francis Fernandes and one each from Randeep Singh and Sean Rooney, not hit the post.

While Francis Fernandes hit the post in the 6th and 44th minute; Randeep Singh struck his shot to the post in the 21st minute while substitute Sean Rooney met with the same fate in the 89th minute of play.

While the first half was mostly dominated by Salgaocar, the youthful Pailan Arrows shone in patches. Pailan’s Avinabo Bag created most of the moves for his team with smart feeding and lovely touches to the ball. However, the strikers consisting of Allwyn George and Holicharan Narzary were not given much room to maneuver inside by the Salgacoar defence and as such they could not do much against superior defenders like Luciano Sabrosa.

Salgacoar were all over the Pailan Arrows territory in the first session but the second session saw both the teams vying for supremacy.

While Francisco Fernandes almost scored for Salgacoar in the early stages of the match off a cross from the right which hit the post, the other marvelous chances that Salgaocar had to forge ahead was when Randeep Singh ran solo and unleashed a power-packed shot from the top of the box, which struck the horizontal and came back into play.

Pailan Arrows did counter attack on a few occasions but Holichandran Nazary try was easily saved by confident Karanjit Singh who was guarding the Salgaocar goal. This was the only worthwhile move that Pailan Arrows made in the first half but in the second session, they matched their rivals well enough and the proceedings were almost evenly matched though Salgaocar had the better say.

Pailan Arrows Australian coach Arthus Papas said that his team is getting better and better and that the young players are showing lot of ability to complete,which he said is good for the team.

Salgaocar FC coach Peter Vales on the other hand was a disappointed man as his team could not carve out a win, despite having glorious chances which did not culminate into goals.[NT]