New Delhi, Jan 12: Striker P. Lalmuanpuia’s 47th minute header was enough to give ONGC a narrow 1-0 win over former champions Salgaocar in the 15th round of I-League at the Ambedkar Stadium here Saturday.
Yusa Katsumi was again the inspiration behind ONGC taking their unbeaten streak to seven matches. The Japanese midfielder’s free-kick from the left side was flicked over the goalkeeper by Lalmuanpuia for the only goal in the match.
It was another brilliant defensive display from the homeside, who have not conceded a goal in 340 minutes of play. A dominant Salgaocar on the other hand kept possession well but failed to create many clear cut chances.
Though the story could have been a lot different had Marcus Mascarenhas put the ball in the back of the net from three yards out.
A cross from the right side of the field was met by a glancing header by Francisco Fernandes, the ball fell right in the path of Marcus, who scuffed his shot straight into ONGC custodian’s hand.
There was controversy in the final minutes of the game with the entire Salgoacar bench up in arms after a ONGC player was deemed to have handled the ball in the box. However, the referee waved play on, much to the dissatisfaction of Salgaocar’s British coach David Booth.
The win takes ONGC to 19 points from 15 outings while Salgaocar remain on 11 points playing one match less.