The number two continued to dominate the first round of the Goa Professional league (GPL) with Salgaocar FC registering an unconvincing 2-0 win over Corps of Signals at Duler stadium on Saturday.
In a game that never raised to great heights, the lads from Vasco were made to huff and puff before they established their superiority through two goals scored by Devendra Murgaonkar and Chaitan Komarpant respectively, in the second session of play.
Salgaocar started on a bright note with the kick off almost culminating in a goal. Chaitan was set free on the right flank after the game began but his deep cross into the Signals goal was not well met by Andrus John.
That first move surprised the lads from Signals and it took them a good six minutes to come up with their first move. Lairellapam Singh was beautifully put through by Solmon Khongsai but the former’s lob was anticipated by Salgaocar keeper Jason D’mello for an abortive corner.
Both teams restricted play to the mid-field with Salgaocar enjoying domination but unable to translate it into exciting football to watch. Corps of Signals, treated their opponents with respect, waiting to counter against the run of play.
Salgaocar FC committed umpteen unforced errors and it was in one such occasion in the 30th minute that Signals got another chance to break the Salgaocar citadel. However, Vishnu Chhetri could not bundle himself out of the Salgaocar defense when he was put through.
From the two teams, signals came closest to scoring in the second session when of a corner, Nim Ishering Bhutia’s goal bound shot was cleared off the goal line by a Salgaocar defender.
Both teams trooped for the lemon break with the scoreboard reading goal less.
Salgaocar started the second session, like the first with Chaitan almost scoring for his team on resumption. However, his shot hit the horizontal, ricocheted back into play before being cleared for a corner.
Though Salgaocar dominated, the Signals lads hit back when they got the opportunity and a good one came their way around the hour mark when Larellakpam got past the Salgaocar defense and shot at goal. However, his effort was directed straight at Salgaocar keeper Jason.
Salgaocar broke the Signals stranglehold over their play in the 69th minute when Devendra Murgaonkar anticipated a corner taken by Sanson Pereira to slide in the ball past a helpless Signals keeper Binu Pururshothaman.
The winner made the issue safe ten minutes later when substitute Selwyn Miranda notice unmarked Chaitan on the left and sent him a long cross which the latter controlled before slotting it in.
Corps of Signals created their play through Vishnu Chhetri, Lairellakpam,Thingam Singh, Thingnam Roshan Singh and Nnim Bhutia. These five players controlled the pace of the game and held the Salgaocar players off balance with their quick anticipation and early interceptions and that was why the Salgaocar players were often caught on the wrong foot.
Devendra did try to further consolidate the lead in the last minutes of the match but his try – with little venom – did not disturb the Signals keeper.