A Milagres Gonsalves goal proved to be enough, as the Goans move well clear of the relegation zone...A 58th minute Milagres Gonsalves goal proved to be the difference, as Salgaocar edged out Mumbai FC by a scoreline of 1-0, in an I-League encounter at the Duler Stadium in Goa.
Brazilian striker Josimar and goalkeeper Karanjit Singh were missing from the tie, as the Salgaocar duo picked up a red card each in their last match. Milagres Gonsalves was hence given a start in attack with Vinay Singh in goal, while skipper Luciano Sobrosa made his return to first team action.
On the other side, James Singh started on the bench after serving a one-match ban. Ghanian Yusif Yakubu and Nigerian ND Opara started as the two strikers for Mumbai FC.
Both the teams started off on the front foot, looking to gain an early advantage.
Nicholas Rodrigues' free-kick was tipped above the bar by Salgaocar keeper Vinay Singh in the second minute, and at the other end it was Gabriel Obatola who sent his left-footer wide from around the edge of the box, after being set up in front of the Mumbai FC goal-mouth in the seventh minute.
The game progressed at a crawling pace in terms of chances created by either sides before a good bit of inter-play between Salgaocar's Milagres Gonsalves and Francis Fernandes saw the latter put in a cross, which was just about too high for Rocus Lamare in the 18th minute.
Meanwhile, Mumbai FC were seen creating more openings as the game progressed, but the visitors lacked creativity in the final third.
In the 40th minute, Obatola wasn't able to control Francis' pass, and Stephen intervened with a tackle, and the half-time score read 0-0.
Both teams resumed the second half on a defensive note before David Booth's side eventually broke the deadlock in the 58th minute.
Fulgencio Cardozo's cross from the left came off Mumbai FC player Gabriel Fernandes' chest and Salgaocar striker Milagres Gonsalves was in the right place to slot home the rebound.
Almost 20 minutes later, Mumbai FC had a chance to score the equaliser when substitute Jayesh Rane, who had replaced S. Kuttymani in the 70th minute, released Gabriel Fernandes on the right, whose cross was marginally out of reach for Yusif Yakubu on the far side.
Another substitute Evans Quao, who had replaced Opara in the 73rd minute, blasted a powerful grounder from about 30 yards out but it went straight to Salgaocar keeper Vinay Singh, who held on gratefully.
That proved to be the last real chance for the away side, as the Goans took away all three points, and now have collected 23 points from 21 matches.
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