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Major jolt for Salgaocar

Calcutta: League leaders Salgaocar SC suffered a major jolt in their I-League campaign when Mumbai FC defeated them 3-2 to split open the title race at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margaon on Friday.

Keegan Pereira scored the first for Mumbai FC in the 17th minute while Noel Wilson doubled the lead in the 32nd minute. Yusif Yakubu pulled one back for Salgaocar in the 64th minute only for Nicolas Rodrigues to make it 3-1 five minutes later. Substitute Milagres Gonsalves reduced the margin for the Goan team in the 87th minute.

The defeat puts Salgaocar on 46 points from 22 matches with East Bengal and Dempo SC breathing down their neck at 44 points from 21 matches each. Mumbai FC now stay at the fifth spot with 32 points from 22 matches.

Mumbai FC surged ahead with a beauty of a goal as early as the 17th minute. Keegan Pereira’s left-footer from over 25-yards beat a diving Karanjit Singh and went in.

The second goal came from a solo effort. Noel Wilson was quick to spot Karanjit out of position and lobbed it over to make it two-nil.

Changing over, Salgaocar looked a transformed side. Their barrage of attacks, eventually paid dividends when Yakubu headed in a Milagres Gonsalves cross in the 64th minute.

Mumbai made it 3-1 in the 69th. This time, Nicholas Rodrigues dribbled past a couple of defenders and his snap shot proved too good for Karanjit.

Elsewhere, a brace each from Sunil Chhetri and ND Opara saw ONGC rally from behind to hold Chirag United to a 2-2 draw at the Sahu Maharaj ground in Kohlapur.

Sunil Chhetri put Chirag in the lead in the 41st minute. Changing over, ONGC restored parity through N D Opara when he converted from the spot in the 50th minute. In the 76th minute Chhetri struck again for Chirag and when it seemed all was over for ONGC, Opara equalised in the injury time. Chirag now stay at the eighth spot on 27 points from 23 matches while ONGC stay in relegation zone — in the 11th spot with 22 from 24 matches.

Meanwhile, Vasco Sports Club humbled Sporting Clube de Goa 3-0, while United Sikkim held Shillong’s Royal Wahingdoh Sports Club to a goalless draw in their second round match of the 2nd Division I-League.

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