Margao: Salgaocar Sports Club defeated Prayag United 1-0 in the 19th round of the I-League football championship at Nehru Stadium.
The all-important goal was scored in the 21st minute by Edeh Chidi, but it was Salgaocar keeper Karanjit Singh who hogged the limelight with his brilliant work under the bar. The Goa outfit, who have remained unbeaten in the last 11 matches, took their tally to 33 points from 19 matches and moved to fifth place above Prayag United who remained on 32 points from 19 ties after today`s defeat.
Salgaocar looked the better side in the first half as they made inroads into the rival half with steady flow of passes. They had a chance to take lead in the 19th minute but Ryuji Sueoka`s header was collected well by rival keeper Abhijit Mondal.
Salgaocar went ahead in the 26th minute from a free kick following a foul on Francis Fernandes by defender Justine Stephen on the right flank.
Randeep Singh, who took the free kick, floated the ball into the box for Chidi, who rose above the rival defenders and nodded it to the far corner of the net which eventually turned out to be the winner.
Chidi had another chance to increase the lead but his header off Sueoka`s cross from the left was put out by Mondal. Prayag United, who failed to function as a unit in the first half, were a different side in the second as they gelled well in the midfield and probed often into the rival half.
They created at least four scoring chances but failed to score as Salgaocar`s keeper made good saves to frustrate scoring efforts of Yusif Yakubu twice and Josimar once.
Prayag were denied a penalty midway in the second half by referee Denny Jacob when keeper Karanjit, who came out to foil Josimar from scoring, brought him down but the referee turned down the foul.