Churchill Brothers Sports Club proved that champions are not always invincible as they beat Sporting Clube de Goa 2-1 and in the bargain scalped their unbeaten record in the latter’s last match of the Goa Pro league, organized by Goa Football Association (GFA) at Duler stadium on Wednesday.
Churchill Brothers, with two games in hand, stays on 7th position with 23 points from 20 matches, while Sporting suffered their first defeat.
Sporting coach Mateus Costa made one change fielding Joseph Pereira while Alfred Fernandes brought in goalkeeper Ricardo Cardozo, defenders Banpynkhrawnam, Sam Seby Palha and midfielder Janak Kudmal for Churchill.
It was the Red Machine who had the first opportunity to break the deadlock in the 19th minute when Israil Gurung sent a through pass to Trinidadian Willis Plaza but before the latter could create any damage; Sporting keeper Melroy Fernandes left his charge to thwart danger.
However, the Sporting lads could not contain the Churchill boys for long as six minutes later Willis Plaza put his team ahead as he controlled a floater by Valerio Rodrigues and scored from the top of the penalty box, 1-0.
Sporting tried to hit back and in the 34th minute, Sporting’s Glan Martins sent a through pass to overlapping Nigerian Philip Odogwu, but before the latter could react, Churchill keeper Ricardo Cardozo moved forward and cleared the ball to safety.
Ten minutes later another chance for an equaliser went in vain when Marcus Mascarenhas sent a diagonal pass to Philip but the latter shot wide from inside the penalty box.
Both teams were awarded penalties during injury time of the first session.
First, Churchill keeper Ricardo brought down Sporting’s Alesh Sawant inside the penalty box, prompting referee Sainath Haldankar to point to the dreaded spot. Sporting’s Marcus Mascarenhas scored from a retake, 1-1.
Next, Sporting’s Sodiq Ibrahim brought down Willis Plaza inside the 18-yard box, where the referee pointed to the penalty. Churchill’s Israil Gurung made no mistake, 2-1.
Sporting could have equalised in the very 2nd minute of the second session. However, Marcus Mascarenhas could not direct his header in off a cross by Alesh Sawant.
In the 51st and 60th minute, Red Machine had two more opportunities to further inflate their lead. However Sporting keeper Melroy thwarted Uttam Rai in a one to one situation, while minutes later a 35-yard powerful volley banged the side post.