Prayag United drop points as they were unable to beat the Goan outfit on home turf...
High-flying Prayag United SC were held to a draw against Salgaocar FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in the seventh round encounter in the I-League.
Augustin Fernandes put the visitors ahead in the 41st minute before Bello Rasaq scored for Prayag to restore parity in the 58th minute. The hosts were unable to clinch the winner before the final whistle and had to settle for just one point.
Salgaocar started the game well and took control of proceedings early on. However, David Booth's troops were unable to create many opportunities as both teams lacked a cutting edge in the first half. With the half time whistle approaching, the visitors broke the deadlock by way of a set-piece. From a corner-kick, Fernandes managed to dart into space at the near post and bury his header past the keeper to give Salgaocar the lead.
At half time, Prayag boss Eelco Schattorie decided to make his first change when he introduced Mohammed Rafique in place of Carlos Hernandez. The home side started the second half aggressively and launched a relentless attack on the Salgaocar goal.
They got their just reward 13 minutes into the restart as Bello Rasaq grabbed in the equalizer. Deepak Mondal was brought down on the edge of the box and Rasaq stepped forward to take the resultant free-kick. He dispatched his left-footed effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Karanjit Singh and into the far corner to level the tie.
Prayag immediately pushed forward in search of a second goal and the substitute Rafique was in the thick of things. He missed a glorious opportunity when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with the keeper.
Soon after, Ranti Martins decided to take matters into his own hands. The Nigerian picked the ball up on the halfway line and ran at the Salgaocar defence, beating two players before unleashing a shot that rebounded off the post and into the path of Rafique who scored but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Prayag continued to attack throughout the second half but to no avail and Salgaocar had a chance to snatch a winner in stoppage time. Rasaq passed the ball back to goalkeeper Subrata Paul who picked it up and was hence penalized. A free-kick inside the box was awarded for the visitors but their effort was deflected for a throw in.The game ended 1-1 to the disappointment of the home team while Bello Rasaq was named man of the match. The result sees Prayag top the table level on points with East Bengal who have a game in hand.
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