Salgaocar started their title defense on a positive note by getting the better of big spenders Prayag United SC 1-0 in their Group D engagement at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Thursday.
Anthony D’Souza scored the only goal for the defending champions in the 54th minute. With this match Salgaocar have three points while United SC return empty handed.
After a goalless first half, United SC could have taken the lead early on in after the breather. But Ranty Martins bungled from close range. For Salgaocar though D’Souza made the most of a poor clearance in the 64th minute.
While Salgaocar played in a fluid 4-3-3 formation, United SC chose to stick to the traditional 4-4-2 system deploying Costa Rican World Cupper Carlos Hernandez up front with goal-machine Ranty Martins who put pen to paper for the men in purple this season from Dempo.
Karim Bencherifa chose to play new arrival Sean Rooney as the centre forward with Milagres Gonsalves and Anthony S’Souza supporting him from both the flanks.
In a first half with very little goalmouth action, Prayag United got a half chance in the 10th minute when Hernandez’s effort effected a diving save from Salgaocar custodian Karanjit Singh.
India’s No. 1 goalkeepeer Subrata Pal was in action minutes later saving a Rooney strike with his fingertips.
(AIFF Press Release)
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