Margao: Salgaocar FC kept pace at the top of the table after a 2-0 victory over traditional football rivals Dempo Sports in the Round 21 clash of the Airtel I-League on wednesday.
The victory meant Salgaocar are now unbeaten in five matches and have kept a clean sheet in four consecutive games. The turnaround has been since Dudu Omagbemi joined them during the transfer window this year.
The Nigerian striker failed to score for the first time since joining the side but that was no problem for Salgaocar as goals from Bikash Jairu (18th minute) and Darryl Duffy (23rd minute) gave Derrick Pereira?s team a comfortable win.
The win kept Salgaocar within sniffing distance of the title and the former I-League champions are now just four points adrift of leaders Bengaluru FC.
Dempo came into this game on the back of a 4-0 drubbing of Sporting Clube de Goa.
The former champions started brightly and enjoyed all the possession but could not translate their possession into goals.
Beto sent a delightful through ball for Alwyn George in the sixth minute but the former Pailan Arrows striker failed to score.
Salgaocar took the lead much against the run of play in the 18th minute. Dudu, always a dangerous customer, worked his way past Haroon Amiri and then saw Jairu unmarked. Jairu made no mistake from the left to give his side the lead.
Salgaocar extended their lead six minutes later as Duffy continued with his rich scoring form. After being picked up by Rocus Lamare inside the heart of Dempo defence, the Scottish striker showed remarkable cool to slot the ball past goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
Dempo were threatening but with their strikers so woefully out of form, and the Salgaocar defence refusing to budge, there was no chance of a breakthrough even after the change of ends.
Romeo Fernandes went close twice in quick succession while Jeje Lalpekhlua and Tolgay Ozbey also wasted opportunities.
With a two-goal lead Salgaocar continued to grow in confidence and had their strikers been sharp enough, could have enjoyed a bigger-margin of victory.