Ludhiana: Goan club Salgocar lifted their second national football league title after they defeated JCT 2-0 in their 26th round match of the I-League on Monday.
Midfielder Francis Fernandes opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Yusif Yakubu doubled the lead in the 85th minute to spark scenes of jubilations at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.
"We are officially the champions. I knew we had almost won it. But with this victory, the championship is officially ours," said Salgaocar coach Karim Bencherifa.
Bencherifa dedicated the success to excellent team work.
"I need to salute my players; I need to salute the support staff; I need to salute the management for their support. The team-spirit has been excellent," he added.
"There has beeen so much healthy competition among the boys. Everyone had mutual respect for the other. And it helped the team."
No one spared a thought for JCT, who now stare at relegation (24 from 26 matches) - blame it on the cruelty of the game. It's all about the champions.
Since being re-christened the I-League, Goan clubs have won all the four I-League titles. Dempo have won twice and Churchill Brothers once. Salgaocar had earlier won the 3rd National Football League in 1998-99.