Margao: Salgaocar defeated Chirag United Kerala with the help of a first half strike by Luciano Sobrosa in a penultimate round I-League match at Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
Salgaocar, who will take on Shillong Lajong in their last match, now have 43 points from 25 matches, while Chirag United, who are relegated to the second division, have 17 points. Salgaocar, who dictated terms in the midfield, had the better share of exchanges and scoring opportunities and surged ahead in the 30th minute. They also found the net twice but ruled out offside by referee Andrew Shekar.
`Man of the Match` Ryuji Sueoka, who played the pivotal role upfront, received the ball inside the box, beat a couple of rival defenders and laid a pass to unmarked Luciano Sobrosa who slotted the ball into the net from close. Thereafter, play was confined to midfield and the visitors came close to scoring on a couple of occasions but ended up shooting the ball wide off the mark.
Salgaocar continued to hold upper hand in the second half as well and had a glorious chance to increase the lead but Beevan D`Mello and Ryuji Sueoka in a one-on-one situation saw the former shooting the ball wide.
Later, Milagres Gonsalves saw his shot hit the post and going out. The visitors, who had a couple of threatening raids, had the best chance to find the equaliser in the dying minutes but Sunday, who was unmarked inside the box, missed the target by a whisker.