Margao: Rjuji Sueoka`s first half penalty guided Salgaocar to a 1-0 win over Air India and moved to third place in the 22nd round of the I-League played at Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
Salgaocar who had more of the ball possession in the first half, had the first chance to surge ahead in the 8th minute but Ryuji Sueoka drove the ball out, off a pass from Bevan D`Mello.
Salgaocar kept on probing into the rival half with quick short passes gained a penalty after Kali Alaudeen pushed Nicolao Colaco from behind inside the box and referee Denny Jacob awarded the penalty which Rjuji Sueoka converted by beating keeper Pawan Kumar to his right in the 23rd minute.
Rjuji than had a glorious chance to seal the match in the second but failed to direct his header into the net off a pass from Rino Anto.
The visitors who put up better performance in the second half came with few raids late in the first half, had the best chance to equalise in the 41st minute but Mandeep who was free inside the box, drove the ball out of target.
The win takes Salgaocar to 39 points from 22 matches moved to third place displacing Mohun Bagan who are on 38 points, play their crucial match against table topper Dempo tomorrow at home.
Air India who are clear of the relegation zone remained on 29 points from 22 matches to find themselves on 9th place.
Referee Danny Jacob showed yellow card to Air India`s Lamine Tamba and Manadeep.