Salgaocar Football Club netted two second half goals to register a 2-0 win over Churchill Brothers in the Kingfisher Goa Professional League match played at GFA’s astro turf grounds in Duler here on Sunday.
The win enabled Salgaocar climb to the top spot with 22 points, while Churchill stayed on 16 points, after both the sides played their ninth match of the league.
Both the sides, playing their first competitive league match on the recently laid astro turf, restricted play mostly to midfield in the first quarter of the match.
Salgaocar did have a couple attempts at the rival goal, but Aslon Oliveira and Keegan Pereira stiff grounders sailed a yard from the side post. KM Mettei moved dangerously on the left flank and flashed the ball right across the Churchill goal but Aslon failed to direct his tap inside the goal frame, with the entire Churchill defence beaten.
Churchill though played with two foreign recruits Gabonese Henri Arnaud and Lebanese Akram Moghrabi upfront, yet failed to get past the stubborn Salgaocar defence.
One golden chance went abegging for them in the 41st minute, as Moghrabi getting hold to a pass from Alesh Sawant crossed the ball to over-lapping Henri Arnaud, who surprisingly tapped the ball off the post.
On resumption of play, Churchill replaced Moghrabi with Bineesh Balan upfront, who kept the Salgaocar defenders on their toes with some fast penetration.
After referee Chandrashekar turned down a penalty appeal early in the second half, when Bineesh was brought down inside the penalty box, Churchill squandered another goal scoring opportunity when Satish Singh cross was poorly collected by Salgaocar keeper Pawan Kumar only to find Joshua Rebello blast the ball wide.
Churchill keeper Felix D’Souza could do very little as Salgaocar scored two quick goals in the 74th and 77th minute of play. Substitute Royston D’Souza controlled a pass from Godfrey and latched a blistering shot from inside the penalty box which took a wicked deflection off Gurjet Singh leg to find the ball back of the nylons.
Keegan Pereira further doubled the lead for Salgaocar as he scored in a similar fashion. A stinging right footer hit Sanjay Balmuchu leg to once again beat keeper Felix D’Souza.
Ten minutes left for the hooter and Churchill had a chance to reduce the deficit. Lionel Rodrigues who had moved upfront from the defence took a stinging 20-yard shot, which was blocked by Salgaocar custodian but Sanjay Balmuchu failed to score. [NT]