Kolkata, Feb 20 (PTI) Salgaoncar retained their positionat top by demolishing a depleted Chirag United 4-1 in 15thouting of the I-League championship at the Yuba BharatiKrirangan here today.
Ekene scored a brace, Yakubu and Francis Fernandes nettedone goal apiece for the visitors while Elija Junior reducedthe margin for Chirag.
Chirag began in style forging ahead in the fourthminute but turned into a ten-men side when their livewire inmidfield Denson Devadas was red-carded in the 12th minute dueto a double booking for rough tackling.
The departure of Denson made the Kolkata siderudderless and they succumbed to pressure by Salgaoncar andconceded four goals.
With this victory, Salgaoncar now have 34 points from15 matches while Chirag remained at the 8th spot in the16-team league.
Chirag took the lead as early as in the fourth minutewhen their striker Elija Junior found the target capitalizingon a pass from Joshimar.
As the visitors were trying to find their rhythm afterconceding an early goal, Chirag''s Devadas unlawfully tackledSalgaoncar''s Japanese striker Ryuji Seuoka in the 12th minute.
Referee Pratap Singh from Uttarakhand gave him themarching order as he was earlier shown a yellow card for thesame offence against the same player in the third minute.
Having numerical advantage, Salgaoncar unleashed aseries of raids with striker Yakubu and medio Rocus Lamarescheming most of the moves.
They drew level through Yakubu who beat Chirag keeperSomnath Khanra with a neat placing off Gilberto Oliviera inthe 19th minute.
Chirag defence which then managed to keep the rivalsat bay from scoring further till the middle of the secondhalf, broke down in the 65th minute when Francis Fernandes putthe Goanese side into the lead following a flag kick.
Salgaoncar then struck twice more through Ekene in the72nd and two minutes before the long whistle to complete thetally.