Margao: Salgaocar FC is the second team to qualify for the semi-finals after they played out a 1-1 draw against Tuff Laxmi Prasad in a Pool A quarter-final match of the 127th Durand Cup, here on Monday.
After ND Opera put Tuff Laxmi Prasad in the lead in the 28th minute at the Raia Panchayat ground, ouhou Peirre restored parity for Salgaocar FC in the 44th minute.
Salgaocar, who needed a draw to top the group, collected four points from two matches and made it to the knockout round.
Indian Navy and Tuff Laxmi Prasad, who finished with with three and one points each are out of contention.
Both the teams played evenly in the first half as they fought for supremecy in the midfield. Salgaocar, who created early chances, first saw Gilbert Oliveira's effort from close was collected by rival keeper Jason D'Mello in the fifth minute.
Few minutes later, tries from Darryl Duffy and Thangjam Singh missed the target narrowly.
After these close shaves, Tuff Laxmi Prasad struck in the 28th minute when N D Opera headed the ball into the net off a flag kick taken by Siddarth Kundaikar from the left.
Salgaocar than retaliated and restored parity a minute before the break when Douhou Peirre uncorked a firm right footer that found the roof of the net to go into the breather locked at 1-1.
Salgaocar, knowing a draw is enough to qualify for the semis, clowed down the pace and allowed their rivals to do more of the attacking and nearly paid the price when Marcus Mascarenhas try from inside the box was saved by defender Augustin Fernandes on the goal line.
Thereafter, Salgaocar came up with couple of swift moves and nearly scored the winner but rival keeper Jason D'Mello did well to put the ball out off substitute Aslon Oliveira grounder.