Margao: Salgaocar Sports Club had to settle for a goal-less draw against Pailan Arrows in a third round I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday. After Karim Bencherifa's exit (he is not allowed to sit in the reserve bench), this is Salgaocar's first match and the young boys from Arrows did well enough to snatch a point in an away game.
Salgaocar started strongly but poor finishing coupled with some agile goalkeeping by the Pailan custodian Soram Poirei meant the home side had to take only a point. Salgaocar have now gone winless for three matches while Arrows, after a two match winning streak, dropped points for the first time.
Coach Peter Valles made no significant changes to the team which he got from Bencherifa but the hosts could not make any significant progress throughout the 90-minute duel. Whenever they were presented with an opportunity, the strikers shot wide, hit the post, or found that the Pailan Arrows goalkeeper Soram Poirei Angamba was a hard nut to crack.
Salgaocar made the first move in the 17th minute when defender Nicolao Colaco, who constantly moved up on the right flank, sent a measured cross to Francis Fernandes whose shot hit the post after brushing the rival goalkeeper's palm. In the second session, there was more agony for Salgaocar. Australian striker Sean Rooney missed from handshaking distance Milagres Gonsalves saw the goalkeeper prove equal to the task and again the dying minutes of the match, Milagres was unable to guide the ball home after being picked up by Rooney.
The Arrows played to a plan, and although they did not have too many chances to go ahead, they did enough to merit a point. Salgaocar now have two points from three matches while Pailan Arrows, who are unbeaten, have seven points at the end of the third round.