THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Salgaocar FC ease past Shillong Lajong

I-League: Salgaocar FC v Shillong Lajong FC

I-League: Salgaocar FC v Shillong Lajong FC

Salgaocar FC continued with their match-winning ways as they set aside the challenge of Shillong Lajong FC 3-1 for a hat-trick of victories in the I-League at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Friday.

Scottish striker Darryl Duffy scored a brace of goals to give Salgaocar an early advantage. And when Boithang Haokip pulled one back for Shillong Lajong at the stroke of half time, Dudu Omagbemi responded to the challenge with a goal that broke Lajong’s back and ensured Salgaocar had logged their third consecutive victory.

The victory helped Salgaocar overcome Lajong on the table and occupy the fourth spot with 27 points. Shillong Lajong are now placed fifth with 24 points.

Shillong Lajong went into the matchwinning both their previous matches against Salgaocar. They started confidently and were unlucky not to have gone ahead despite pressurising the rivals right from the word go.

Much against the run of play. Salgaocar took the lead, thanks in some part to carelessness on the part of goalkeeper Vinay Singh who dropped a gentle header from Francis Fernandes , allowing Darryl Duffy to tap the ball inside the net from handshaking distance.

Duffy found the back of the net again just after the half hour mark although this time there were no easy gifts from either the defenders or goalkeeper. In the 33rd minute, Dudu played a nice short ball to Duffy on the top of the box and the Scottish striker responded with a powerful grounder that beat the rival goalkeeper for a 2-0 advantage.

Shillong Lajong were rattled by the early twin strikes and didn’t seem to have a clue about how to open their account. After playing second fiddle for a while, Shillong finally tasted success. Glen Cornell had won a freekick just outside the box and Haokip lined up to take it.

What followed was a stunning freekick that beat a diving goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.

Coming as it did on the stroke of half time, the goal was to galvanise Shillong Lajong and demoralise Salgaocar. But when the hosts returned from the half-time break, there was no slip in momentum as Dudu made it 3-1, following a commotion inside the box.

Duffy had his chance to complete his first hat-trick in the I-League but substitute goalkeeper Lalthuammawa Ralte came up with a superb save.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)