I-League 2012-13: United Sikkim win 3-2 against Salgaocar in debut match

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United Sikkim FC 3 (Nurudeen Salau — 52nd, Lineker Machado 64th, Sandesh Jhingan 75th)

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Salgaocar SC 2 (Angel Guirado — 50th, Milagres Gonsalves 56th)

GANGTOK: Debutants United Sikkim FC came back from one goal down twice to upset established I-League side Salgaocar 3-2 in a thrilling match at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok.

After a dull first 45 minutes, the game exploded in second half when Angel Guirado gave the Goan club the lead in the 50th minute. A horrific misunderstanding between United Sikkim goalkeeper Yoon Tae and his defender allowed Aldecuer to head in a rebound from two yards out.

The Snow Lions, happy till now in defending deep, responded swiftly and restored parity two minutes later. Its striker Buddiram Tudu rode in unchallenged from midfield but his shot was parried by Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh. Nurudeen Salau arrived in time to poke home the loose ball and equalize for United Sikkim.

Even before the 12,000 odd home supporters could finish celebrating the first I-League goal of United Sikkim, Salgaocar took the lead for the second time in 56th minute. A quickly taken free kick beat an unprepared United Sikkim defence and goalkeeper but hit the post. Milagres Gonsalves was at the correct place to capitalize on the rebound and make the score 2-1 in favour of Salgaocar.

United Sikkim, playing in I-League for the first time, refused to concede defeat and left winger Lineker Machado equalized with a fine strike in the 64th minute. Boosted by a boisterous home crowd, United Sikkim then took the lead in the 75th minute when defender Sandesh Jhingan rose highest to head an Ashish Chettri free kick.

United Sikkim withstood fierce pressure from Salgaocar for the remaining period to bag 3 full points in its I-League debut match.

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