Margao: Ten-man Salgaocar FC held grimly on to their first half lead to beat Shillong Lajong 2-1 in a ninth round match of the Hero I-League at Nehru Stadium Fatorda here on Tuesday.
Salgaocar, who were down to ten men in the 20th minute, put up a good show to score two goals through Darryl Duffy (18th) and Douhou Pierre (42nd) who put up a stellar role in the midfield.
The visitors, who had better ball possession after Salgaocar defender Augustin Fernandes was sent off for handling the ball in front of the goal, reduced the margin in the 25th minute.
Salgaocar, who lacked finishing in their previous matches, were strengthened by the return of Duffy and the wily striker had the first chance to put his team ahead but his try went over the bar off a pass from Douhou Pierre.
Thereafter, Bikas Jairu had a chance to put his team ahead but he shot out after he was set up Gilbert Oliveira with a diagonal pass.
After these two close misses, Salgacoar surged ahead in the 18th minute from a combined move between Rocus Lamare and Gilbert Oliveira. The latter relayed the ball to Pierre who put a through pass to Duffy who chipped the ball into the net giving keeper no chance to react.
After conceding the goal, the visitors made a counter attack and Cornell Glen took a reverse kick and defender Augustin Fernandes handled the ball from finding the net.
Referee C R Srikrishnan awarded a penalty and gave Augustin the marching orders. Cornell Glen, who himself took the penalty, saw his shot saved by rival keeper Subrata Paul who dived to his right and put the ball away.
However, Glen made amends of his earlier lapse when he equalised in the 25th minute when he beat keeper Subrata Paul with a left-footer.
Salgaocar were at the disadvantage after the red card shown to Augustin Fernandes as the visitors came charging at them with repeated forays but the home side defence somehow did well to thwart the moves.
Sensing danger, Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira replaced striker Duffy and brought in Clifton Dias in the midfield to defend their citadel and attack the rival goal with counter attacks.
The move paid off as Salgaocar came up with a quick counter move and Douhou Pierre, who was standing at the rival box, received a long pass and, after getting the better of defender Minchol Son, took a crack at the goal from inside the box and rival keeper Rehenseh TP who dived to his left only managed to deflect the ball which hit the post before finding the net.
Salgaocar went into the break with 2-1 lead and held on to it till the end to gain full points.
The win takes Salgaocar to sixth place with 11 points from eight matches while Lajong remained on ninth with six points from eight matches.
With the league taking a two-week break, Salgaocar will play their next match on March 21 at home against Bengaluru FC. Lajong will return to Goa on March 28 to play against Sporting Clube de Goa.