Salgaocar lost 1-0 to Bengaluru FC in the Fatorda Stadium in the 10th round of the I League. Robin Singh’s last gasp header gave the reigning champions a much deserved win. Despite that, there were numerous talking points affecting both sides.
Salgaocar vs Bengaluru FC – One way traffic
Salgaocar vs Bengaluru FC has always been an entertaining fixture. The two sides have met on several occasions. The Blues however, have successfully dominated the fixture, winning all their matches at the Fatorda. Following tradition, when they faced off at the Fatorda on Saturday, Bengaluru FC came away with a win and all three points, once again.
Bengaluru welcome players back, Salgaocar field depleted unit
Ashley Westwood welcomed the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh back to his squad following the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Nepal. They were all immediately drafted back into the starting XI.
On the other hand, Derrick Pereira fielded a completely depleted unit. In the absence of heavily influential players such as Francis Kasonde and Darryl Duffy, Pereira fielded Gurjinder Kumar, Leny Pereira, Sanju Pradhan and Khaled Hasan Baleid.
As a result, the experience of the Bengaluru outfit prevailed as they earned a hard fought win.
Derrick Pereira’s defensive tactics backfire
Salgaocar manager Derrick Pereira, a former India defender himself, has transformed his Salgaocar side into perhaps one of the best defensive units in the country. His defensive prowess during his playing days made him a defender of immense repute. Therefore, it is safe to assume that his defence will be organised to the highest level.
However, these defensive tactics failed as the reigning champions found themselves on the attack from the word go. Anto and Keegan Pereira used the flanks to great effect as Salgaocar were on the back foot for a majority of the first half. Missed chances from Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh was all that kept Derrick Pereira and his men in the hunt.
Lalthuammawia Ralte: Super Keeper
Newly signed Lalthuammawia Ralte has proved to be a revelation this season. Starting with an indifferent start, the Blues keeper had one of his worst games in the 4-1 rout to Mohun Bagan. However, his performance on Saturday night at the Fatorda was nothing short of spectacular. Apart from making a few important saves, Ralte saved a penalty, preventing a sharing of points between the two sides. He was rightly awarded the man of the match.
Robin Singh once again underlined his physical prowess in the box during set pieces and this in particular was a major problem for the Salgaocar defensive unit. The big Bengaluru and Indian forward marked his return with a lovely header from a corner with a little over 10 minutes to play.
Hopes for an improbable fightback were jolted by the dismissal of defender Gurjinder Kumar. A hard foul on Rink Anto in a dangerous situation, by Gurjinder leads to a second yellow for the Salgaocar man and meant that he had to leave the arena. The 10 men of Salgaocar failed to make any impact on the game as Bengaluru FC scraped through with a 1-0 win.