Navelim: Churchill Brothers FC played with experience and Salgaocar FC with youth and the mix saw both teams share two goals and points in the Goa Football Association (GFA) Professional League at Rosary ground, Navelim on Thursday.
The first half was devoid of goal threatening play whilst the second saw two goals and a couple of attempts at goal that proved abortive. Churchill Brothers broke the deadlock two minutes after the start of the second half through Clencio Pinto and Salgaocar FC took around six minutes to restore parity through Sanson Pereira.
Churchill Brothers played without Willis Plaza and without the foreigner, there seemed little smoke in the team’s attack. However, Lalkhawpuimawia filled in his boots and it was his assist that let to Clencio scoring. Lalkhawpuimawia dodged past two Salgacoar defenders, on the top of the box and sent a lofted ball inside the box to Clencio Pinto who was totally left unmarked. The last named, leapt high to head the ball to the far corner of Salgaocar FC nets where keeper Jason D’Mello could do nothing.
Salgaocar FC kept retaliating through strong on counter attacks and restored parity through a free kick in the 53rd minute of play.
Churchill Brothers FC’s Ghanian defender Radanfah Abu Bakr brought down Salgaocar FC’s striker Devendra Murgaokar and the referee awarded a direct free kick.
Salgacoar FC’s defender Sanson Pereira stepped in to take the shot, curled the ball in from almost 20 yards, to give no chance at all to Churchill Brothers FC keeper Md Jafar Mondal – who otherwise had a very good day under the bar.
Tough the teams had a chance each in the first session with Clencio failing to find the mark quite early on; Salgaocar FC could have found the mark through Devendra Murgaokar whose shot was off the mark from an ideal position on the top of the rival box.
Churchill Brothers badly missed the services of their star striker Willis Plaza who is reported to have left to his home due to some urgent, personal reason and is expected to return soon. Without Plaza, Churchill’s frontline lacked teeth and most of Churchill Brothers’ play was revolved around Lalkhawpuimawia who was in the thick of action for most part of the play.
The other player who impressed for the Churchill Brothers team was substitute Kivi Zhimomi who with his quick footwork and dashing abilities of ball control and positional play, kept the rival defence under pressure. But the Churchill Brothers strike force failed to deliver the goods.
Churchill Brothers FC defence looked brittle and the midfield almost looked nonexistent.
On the other hand, Salgaocar FC galvanised well in all the departments of the game. Their defence looked rock solid and midfield quite versatile and did produce some flowing
It was only because of the lack of fire power and accuracy of Salgaocar strikers that the team failed to score more. Their striker Devendra Murgaokar could have done much better. He did try some shots, but they lacked fire power and accuracy.