Ludhiana: JCT Phagwara survived a spirited second-half challenge from Churchill Brothers before beating the vistors 2-1 in a National Football League match played in the Guru Nanak Stadium here on Saturday.
At halftime, JCT were leading 1-0. In the 21st minute, Hardip Saini scored a brilliant goal. Jo Paul Ancheri made it 2-0 via a penalty kick.
In the second half, Churchill increased their tempo and came up with a barrage of sorties towards JCT box.
However, poor final pass and lack of penetrative ability, coupled with JCT’s dogged defence, frustrated the Goan team.
However, in the 76th minute, Churchill were awarded a penalty and Yousif Yakubu converted it to reduce the margin.
With this victory, JCT have moved from sixth to fifth position on the table with 24 points.
In Bangalore, Goan outfit Salgaocar returned to winning ways after two draws and a defeat when they whipped local favourites Hindustan AeroNautics Sports Club 3-0 in another match on Saturday.
The former champions now have 27 points, while relegation blues continue to haunt HAL, who have just seven points. The win also helped Salgaocar pip Mohun Bagan by a point for the second position, behind East Bengal (37).
Salgaocar totally dominated the proceedings and pumped three goals inside the first session.
Climax Lawrence put Salgaocar ahead in the sixth minute, finding the target off a spot kick.
The visitors made it 2-0, when Sunday Seah headed home off a pass from Jatin S. Bist in the 19th minute.
Then, in the 40th minute, Dharmajit Singh came up with gem of a goal.
After the breather, HAL upped the momentum and came close to scoring on few occasions. But poor finishing let them down.