Churchill clinch 12-goal thriller

MARGAO: Churchill Brothers SC registered their biggest ever win in the I-League as they thrashed Sporting Clube de Goa 8-4 in their 11th round encounter at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.

Striker Bineesh Balan scored a brilliant hat-trick for the Varca-based team as he found the mark in the 9th , 38th and 40th minute while Gabonese striker Henri Arnaud and Brazilian midfielder Roberto Silva (Beto) played their part scoring a brace each. Their sharp shooter from Lebanon Akram Moghrabi chipped in with a goal in the 80th minute.

Sporting Clube de Goa however gave a good fight as they scored four goals with medio Joseph Pereira scoring a brace while Kalu Ogba and Japanese striker Seiya Sugishta scoring a goal each.

Though the final scoreline may suggest Churchill’s total dominance in Sunday’s match but it was not so, at least in the first 34 minutes of the first half, during which time Sporting appeared to be a better team than their opponents.

After Bineesh Balan provided the lead for Churchill Brothers, Sporting quickly retaliated and restored parity in the 20th minute through Kalu Ogba, whose 30-yard shot gave no chance to Churchill keeper Sandip Nandy.

Sporting then went one goal up when Joseph Pereira scored from a good pass off Japanese import Seiya Sugishita.

Thereafter Churchill moved at an accelerating speed and made it 2-2 when Bineesh Balan bulged the rival nets again in the 38th minute. Within the next two minutes Bineesh scored one more to complete his hat-trick off a neat pass from Henri Arnaud (3-2).

However, when the first half went into the added time of 3 minutes, Henri Arnaud made it 4-2 in favour of Churchill. And then when the second session was just in its 4th minute, Henri completed his brace scoring off a freekick from Beto. The rival keeper lost the ball from his hand and Henri made a dash to net it without any difficulty. This goal then had a telling effect on the morale of the Sporting team but even then they fought back. Had their defence been more attentive and the young goalkeeper a little more focussed, the end result of the match would have surely been different.

Roberto Silva then scored two quick goals in the 59th and 69th minute when the Sporting defence was caught napping to make the score 6-2 in their favour and then substitute Akram Moghrabi made it 8-2 in favour of Churchill team.

When everything seemed to have lost for the Sporting team, they mustered courage and scored two quick goals in the last two minutes of play through Joseph Pereira and Seiya Sugishita.

Churchill Brothers coach Mariano Dias was quite humble to admit that he did not expect such a huge win and chose to dedicate the win to his former coach T Shanmugam, who passed away few days back.

Sporting’s new coach Oscar Barreras, on the other hand, said that his team though played a good first half but lack of concentration on the part of defenders and also the goalkeeper on few occasions in the second half cost
them the match.