MARGAO: Gallant efforts of Salgaocar Football Club came to naught as Churchill Brothers registered a 2-1 win, finding the winner just three minutes from time, in an exciting 5th found match of the I-League at Nehru stadium, Fatorda-Margao, Friday.
The teams were level 1-1 at half time with both the goals coming through penalty-kicks. Churchill went into the lead in the 22nd minute of play after Roberto Silva (Beto) shot in accurately from the spot-kick and then in the 43rd minute a similar opportunity came Salgaocar’s way where Sean Rooney restore parity.
However, Salgaocar lost their concentration in the last three minutes of the match and paid a heavy price as opportunistic Henry Arnaud who came in as a substitute scored from inside the box to help Churchill Bros collect full points.
The match began with Churchill Bros attacking for the first fifteen minutes of play relentlessly and did not allow the Salgaocar team to settle well, during which time, the Varca-based team had quite a few chances when striker Binesh Balan, Akram Moghrabi and Raju Yumnam came very close to finding the mark.
After just one counter move from the Salgaocar during this spell, Churchill Bros attacked again as Binesh Balan moved menacingly into the box on the left flank where Salgaocar defender Luciano Sobrosa brought him down.
Referee Vishnu Chauhan from Gujarat had no hesitation in awarding the penalty which Roberto Mendes (Beto) shot in by sending a power-packed grounder to beat Salgaocar’s confident goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.
Salgaocar then retaliated for a while during which time, Randeep Singh, Gilbert Oliveira and Sean Rooney tried to beat the Churchill Bros defence with some fast moves but failed to take a good shot at the rival goal.
Suddenly, Salgaocar received a golden chance similar to the one that Churchill Bros received which came in the form of a penalty as rival defender Ravanan Dharmaraj handled the ball into the box off a Rooney shot which was aimed towards the goal.
The penalty was accurately shot in by Sean Rooney sending the ball to the top of the net to beat Churchill keeper Sandip Nandey.
As time ticked by Churchill Bros were seen in the offensive and their efforts paid rich dividends after defender Bilal Najjrine’s kick fell at the feet of striker Henry Arnaud who scored after coming in as a substitute just three minutes before the final hooter to register a win.