MINOO FERNANDES | NT
Fatorda: Churchill Brothers got back to winning ways after registering a thumping 4-1 win against Neroca FC in the I-League match played at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.
Ponif Vaz scored as early as the fifth minute to give Churchill Brothers the lead. But Neroca FC retaliated well and restored parity in the 26th minute though Ghanian Philip Narah. After that it turned out to be all Churchill Brothers FC’s show as Willis Plaza (36th minute), Vinil Poojary (65th) and substitute Ismail Gurung (90+2) struck once each as the Red Machine completed a comprehensive 4-1 win.
With this win, Churchill Brothers have moved to 4th position with 13 points from 8 matches, whereas Neroca FC stay on 8th position with 8 points.
Well aware of the fact that only a win would help them move forward, Churchlll Brothers made their intentions clear right at start and took lead in the very fifth minute when Ponif Vaz unleashed a powerful grounder that beat Neroca FC keeper Marvin Philip.
Churchill could have, in fact, gone into the lead in the opening minute itself but the newly recruited Portuguese attacking medio who had some good runs down the flank, saw his effort missing the mark.
Neroca FC made some dangerous counter forays thereafter but the tries of Philip Narh were not good enough to beat the Churchill Brothers keeper James Kithan.
Churchill Brothers continued the match with some flourishing moves and were always on the prowl to find the mark.
However, Neroca FC defence stood resolutely to disrupt the flow of passes of Churchill Brothers and managed to kill the dangerous forays. Churchill Brothers kept up the pressure and looked to find gaps and find the mark.
Neroca tried persistently to break the Churchill Brothers defence and in the 26th minute the back-four of host team gave way following a forward pass to Philip Narh, their under 22 striker, whose low shot gave no chance to James Kithan under the bar.
Neroca FC slowly began to take control of the match when Churchill started to back paddle, but suddenly the Red Machine earned a penalty kick in the 35th minute when their Portuguese medio Socrates was brought down in the box.
Churchill Brothers’ goal-scoring machine Willis Plaza stepped up to take the penalty and converted it with ease.
Churchill Brothers defenders Ponif Vaz and Jowell Martins had an outstanding performance and were easily the pick of the lot as even when the rival strikers pressed hard, the duo repulsed their attacks.
Churchill’s Willis Plaza had a golden chance to buttress their lead in the 49th minute, but the Trinidadian striker blasted the ball out from inside six yard box.
Churchill keeper James Kithan brought some spectacular saves when the Neroca FC strikers came charging up.
Churcill Brothers scored their third goal in the 65th minute through Vinil Poojary who after collecting a pass off Ceesay banged it in the rival nets.
Substitute Israil Gurung made it 4-1 in favour of Churchill Brothers with a powerful shot off a pass from Willis Plaza in the 90+ 2 minutes.