SHILLONG: Seityasen Singh scored a hat-trick as Royal Wahingdoh FC edged past visiting Salgaocar SC 4-2 to narrow down the gap with table toppers Mohun Bagan FC in their Hero I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
Singh opened with an early goal in the 11th minute and then added two more goals in the second half as Royal Wahingdoh FC beat the Goans in their last home match of the season.
The other goal was scored by Densill Theobald in the 60th minute.
While Douhou Pierre netted the first equaliser in the 56th minute, Darryl Duffy scored the consolation goal for Salgaogar in the 83rd minute of the match. Royal Wahingdoh manager Santosh Kashyap made three key changes to his side’s starting line-up by bringing in Lallawmazuala, Naoba Singh and Seityasen Singh in place of Govin Singh, Bekay Bawar and Seong Kim even as Salgaocar’s Derrick Pereira brought in Subrata Paul and Darryl Duffy in place of Karanjit Singh and Nicolau Colaco.
With Sunday’s win, Royal Wahingdoh have 30 points from 18 matches and were placed two points behind table toppers Mohun Bagan FC and one point behind second-placed Bengaluru FC.
Jackichand Singh and Seityasen Singh combined well at the front even as Theobald exploited the midfield by breaking the visitors’ defence. Seityasen was nearly rewarded as early as the sixth minute his shot went wide.
Returning from the lemon break, Salgaocar took hardly 10 minutes to find their first goal to equalise. Pierre found the net from a freekick just outside the box when the Ivory Coast midfielder was fouled by Royal’s Reagan Singh.
Upping their ante, Densil Theobald found the net when his right footer was too strong for Paul to react three minutes later, as the 16,000 strong-home crowd cheered.
In the 63rd minute, a Gurjinder Kumar shot went wide after which Wahingdoh returned to score their third goal, the second from Seityasen in the 68th minute.
Seityasen went on to score his third goal, eight minutes before the final whistle. A late goal from Darryl Duffy in during injury time earned his club a consolation as they battle to avoid relegation with 17 points in their kitty.