Salgaocar humbles ITI

BANGALORE April 9. Gumpe Rime under the ITI SC citadel looked good. But his athletism and acrobatic saves could only deny Salgaocar till the 73rd minute. Once the former champions nosed ahead the Goan side pumped in two more goals for a convincing 3-0 win in the 19th round of the Oil PSU national Football League at the Bangalore Football stadium here this evening.

The win helped Salgaocar inch to the second spot ahead of Vasco SC with 35 points. ITI languish at the bottom with seven points from 19 matches.

The rustiness of a month-long break was clearly evident as both the teams looked out of depth, though Salgaocar with a definite edge in the midfield looked a lot more incisive.

The match had a clear Manipuri aura in the middle, with Salgaocar fielding nearly five players and ITI three, besides referee Sarat Chandra Singh, from the north-eastern state. But the overtly eager Salgaocar forwardline time and again made a hash of the early chances while a few was brilliantly kept away by an alert Gumpe Rime.

Rime first blocked a close header from Alex Ambrose and then did well to thwart the same forward in an outnumbering situation.

With ITI playing a sedate game, the flair (though they did not have the fire) of the foreign recruits clearly missing. The back-line came under pressure.

Dipankar Chatterjee, a new entrant to the ITI fold looking woeful out of tune along with Najeeb upfront there was no bite in the ITI forays.

Gumpe did stretch and dive to foil the Goan forwards till the last quarter when ITI substitute forward Jiten Rai messed the only clear chance that came its way.

With time running out and needing full points from this encounter Salgaocar pressed hard on the pedal and were richly rewarded with Tomba Singh playing the provider to perfection.

Gumpe was well and truly beaten in the 73rd when a Toma square was shot first time by Jatin Bisht, who was voted the player of the match.

Jatin's shot hit the underside of the cross-piece and bounced into the net. Soon a substitute Jos Esteves cross though missed by Tomba was headed into the far corner by Climax Lawrence, with Gumpe rooted to cover Tomba's angle.

With ITI weathering the onslaught in the final moments a 2-0 margin looked ideal but Dharamjit SIngh had other ideas. The dapper striker positioned well to tap home a Tomba diagonal almost at the full time.