RAWANFOND: First half strikes by Nicholas Fernandes and Cyrus Noronha enabled Churchill Brothers register a 2-0 win against Calangute Association and climb to the top of Goa Professional League table, at 3 MTR grounds, Rawanfond-Navelim on Friday.
With this win Churchill Brothers have now collected 33 points from 15 matches, while Calangute Association stay second last position with 13 points from 17 matches.
The lead for Churchill came off in the 16th minute following a nice assist by Sevelon Cardozo whose measured long cross was banged in by Nicholas.
And 16 minutes later, Churchill’s attacking medio Anthony Wolfe back hilled a flag kick off Gilbert Oliveira to Cyrus who had just to tap the ball in from the very shadow of Calangute goal to beat keeper Saniji Bugde.
Churchill Brothers who started the match in a whirlwind fashion could have been up by at least three goals in the first fifteen minutes had Nicholas been on target on two clear occasions. Youngster Anniston Fernandes who unleashed a powerful shot also saw his effort just missing the target.
It was after these close misses that Churchill Brothers took the lead, thanks to the brilliance of Sevelon whose long through-pass to Nicholas was capitalised with total accuracy after he sent the ball crashing into the far corner of the rival nets.
The second session saw Calangute Association making some deep forays for a while through the efforts of defender Danish Shaikh, who overlapped a lot, and also their medio Domnic Fernandes and striker Abdoul Fall who time and again threatened the Churchill Brothers SC defence.
Fall, who was closely marked by Churchill’s defence marshalled by Nickson Castanha and company, tried his best to find the mark but in vain. Churchill Brothers keeper Kunzang Bhutia also proved to be a safe pair of hands as he brought off spectacular saves in both the sessions of play.
Fall had two powerful shots at the Churchill Brothers goal and on both the counts Bhutia rose to the occasion to grab the ball with total confidence.
Similarly in the second session, on some counter forays keeper Bhutia foiled Fall twice from close distance even as Churchill Brothers created several forays to find the mark, without any success.
In the last five minutes of play, both the teams had some glorious chances but the goalkeepers on either side proved to be hard nuts to crack.