Santosh Kashyap's side continue their fine run of form as the Goans draw another blank on the road...ONGC FC beat Salgaocar FC 1-0 in an I-League round 16 game played at Delhi’s Ambedkar Stadium on Saturday. Lalnun Puia scored the only goal of the game just after half-time in the 48th minute.
In a game of few opportunities the home side were the first to settle on a difficult pitch in the capital and they enjoyed most of the early possession without really threatening to undo the visitors’ rearguard.
However, as the game went on as David Booth’s men also found their feet. ONGC stopper Waheed Sali was the first to go into the book. It was a half that was competitive, yet lacking when it came to goalmouth action and as a result both keepers did not have much to do and the sides went into the break all square.
The second period was much better though, as both teams pushed to break the deadlock in an attempt the grab the all important three points. The match came to life when Lalnun Puia scored what would turn out to be the afternoon’s only goal on 48 minutes.
Midfield star Katsumi Yusa floated in a beautiful free-kick deep into the box and Karanjit Singh in the Salgaocar goal failed to get rid of the danger leaving Puia in acres of space to find the back of the net with the simplest of headers.
The contest was a battle of attrition for much of the time and Yusa put in his second Man of the Match performance on the trot, making great use of his pace to make the difference. As the Goans pushed for the elusive leveller, their lack of a potent attacking threat upfront was there for all to see. On the few chances they did manage to create, they found a determined Rehensh TP in the hosts’ goal.
On 71 minutes the visitors fashioned their best chance when substitute Royston D’Souza sent in a pinpoint cross only for Marcus Mascarenhas to shoot wide from six yards out.
In The 88th minute there was a moment of controversy when Salgaocar felt they were denied what was an obvious penalty. ONGC defender Sali appeared to have handled the ball in the penalty area as he was trying to head it clear. However, much to Booth’s anguish, the referee deemed it to be unintentional and Santosh Kashyap’s men were able to hold out till the final whistle.
With the win the Oilmen, are now up to 5th with 19 points from 15 games. Meanwhile, Salgaocar are on 11 points from 14 outings and in a precarious 11th position in the table, as they are dangerously flirting with relegation.
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