AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT
Churchill Brothers FC celebrated their return to the Nehru stadium in Fatorda with a 3-0 win over Punjab FC that took their vociferous fans through highs and lows on a Sunday evening where the grass looked green.
Both teams started with five foreign players, but it was the local talent that proved more incisive and the proof of that was Lalkhawpuimawia who scored two of the goals and finished with the man of the match award.
The two teams at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda laid more emphasis on their foreign strikers Willis Plaza and Dicka to do the scoring. Willis scored once and Churchill was fortunate that Lalkhawpuimawia was there to do the damage twice. The story was different for Punjab FC who depended on Dicka who was unable to make himself noticeable at all.
Football was not exciting. Churchill Brothers led by a goal during the breather and it was in this period that Ponif Vaz impressed with his runs on the flank; Glan showed why, in time, he could be ISL material and Lalkhawpuimawia that the ability of Indian players to score should not be underestimated.
The average age of Churchill Brothers foreign players was 30 whilst that of Punjab FC was 26. The age factor came into play in the Churchill midfield when Glan and Khali Alhassan had the ball. Glan gave pace to the game, Alhassan slowed down the proceedings.
Apart from the three goals scored, both the goalkeepers had an easy evening. None were seriously tested with Churchill’s Mondal having a holiday and that was because Radanfah and Robert primus kept Dicka under control as Ponif Vaz and Jovel Martins created flutters on the flanks.
The Nehru stadium and the people of South Goa are in store for plenty of football with FC Goa, Churchill Brothers and Indian Arrows showing off their football treasury. The first I-League match never rose to great heights because caution was the key word shared by both teams.
But, the better news is that Goa is going to be a centre where the best talent of the country will be seen – from Fatorda and Tilak maidan, Vasco and the spread, in its own ways, is going to spread. If the game is good, the response will be better and at the end of 2019-2020 the progress of the game will be