Salgaocar SC 2 (Ryuji Sueoka 19th, Ishfaq Ahmed 52nd ) Beat Shillong Lajong 1 (Christopher Iyikwobe 39th)
Salgaocar Sports Club continued with their winning ways as the defending champions recorded their third win in four games with a laboured 2-1 victory against Shillong Lajong at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Wednesday.
The defending champions were not at their best but goals from Ryuji Sueoka and Ishfaq Ahmed ensured the hosts walked away with full points.
Shillong Lajong had lost all of their previous matches here by big margins but on Wednesday they seemed to make a match out of this contest. Striker Christopher Iyikwobe brought the visitors back in the match with a gem of a goal to tie the match in the first session but his efforts counted for nothing in the end.
Salgaocar, as expected, started strongly with Ryuji Sueoka bringing the best out of goalkeeper Lalthuam Mawia early in the game. But while the Lajong goalkeeper was equal to the challenge at first, he could do nothing in the 19th minute when Ryuji, within handshaking distance, directed the ball into the goal after being nicely picked up by Francis Fernandes.
Lajong could not enforce their superiority but there was no doubting that striker Christopher was a constant threat upfront. The striker put his skills to good use in the 39th minute when he cut past two defenders, and then the goalkeeper, to bring his side on level terms.
Salgaocar continued with their attacks in the second session and got the match winner they had been hunting all along, when Ishfaq Ahmed did well to connect Ryuji’s measured cross from the right in the 52nd minute.
The hosts had at least two clear cut opportunities to inflate the lead but Edeh Chidi and Ishfaq Ahmed missed sitters.
The win took Salgaocar’s points tally to 19 while Shillong Lajong are stuck on 16 points.