Midfielder Thangjam Saran Singh’s 21st minute strike was enough for Salgaocar FC to defeat Pune FC 1-0 in the final of the 127th Durand Cup played at the Raia Sports Complex, Goa, on Saturday.
The goal was built up from the midfield by medio Rocus Lamare who played a neat through ball to Saran on the run. The latter controlled the ball and slotted past custodian Amrinder Singh from close range.
Pune FC's Shoaib Syed forced a save from Karanjit Singh in the dying minutes of the first half and despite being more attacking in the second half, the Red Lizards weren't able to break the resolve of the Goan team who held on till the final whistle.
Into the final ten minutes, Shoaib earned a foul outside the box on the right. Eric Brown stepped up and curled in the freekick. The effort at the first post was palmed away by the keeper with a completely outstretched dive.
Pune FC suffered their first competitive defeat under coach Karim Bencherifa. Furthermore, while Pune FC created a host of chances, it was keeper Karanjit Singh whose saves for Salgaocar proved vital.