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Air India down Salgaocar
May 13, 2006 21:53 IST
Striker Paresh Shivalkar showed splendid positional sense to find the target and help local outfit Air India sink Goa's Salgaocar Sports Club 1-0 in the National Football League match in Mumbai on Saturday.
Shivalkar sent a punt across the width of the ground and sprinted into the penalty area to receive the return pass from the hardworking Narendra Meetai before beating Salgaocar custodian Sangram Mukherjee with a first-timed shot for the lone goal of the match in the 57th minute.
Earlier in a goalless first half, Air India came very close to scoring in a goalmouth scramble which resulted in Salgaocar custodian Mukherjee foiling Air India captain Suley Musah and Shivalkar in close succession.
In between these two attempts frontliner Bashiru Abbas's goal-bound essay was saved on the line by a Salgaocar defender.
Salgaocar made all-out attempts to draw level in the second half but were frustrated by the rock-solid display put up by the strongly built defenders Musah and A K Martins.
Second half substitute Ashim Biswas was left to try long rangers with his left foot for Salgaocar but his shots were off target.
Towards the end Jothi Kumar shot over the bar and then Samson Singh's close range try was blocked by Air India goalkeeper Raju Ekka.
The win lifted Air India's points tally to 18 from 16 ties while pushing the Goans further towards relegation.
Salgaocar remain on 11 points from 15 matches. Placed second from bottom in the league, they are in real danger of being forced to play in the second division next season.