Churchill Bros defeat Bagan in IFA opening tie

February 27th, 2008 - 11:06 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) Churchill Brothers beat Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the opening tie of the 113th Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield here Wednesday. In a one-sided affair dominated by the Goan outfit, Churchill took the lead in the 31st minute. The move started deep inside Churchill half with Kalu Ogba overlapping down the left before sharply cutting inside the box. Sensing danger, Bagan goalie Sangram Mukherjee came off his line to clear the ball. The clearance landed at Peter Odafe’s feet, whose dilly-dallying allowed Mboyo Iyomi to snatch the ball and set up Robert Lalthalmuana, whose rasping 25-yard volley found the mark.

Churchill came close to doubling their lead in the 40th minute when Sangram Mukherjee brought down Kalu inside the box. However, Chandam Chitra’s volley was acrobatically saved by Sangram, to avert danger.

Bagan came perilously close to scoring at least on three occasions in the first half, but Churchill goalie Vinay Singh spoiled the party. First he denied Venkatesh in the sixth minute with a brilliant dive to his left, and then in the 31st minute Jose Rameirez Barreto was denied by the goalie. Vinay again came up with a brilliant save after Baichung Bhutia fed Barreto inside the box.

If Vinay saved the day for Bagan, Churchill was denied because of poor finish. Kalu, Mbyo and D Raju weaved past the Bagan defence with consummate ease only to fumble in the last moment.

In the second half, Churchill maintained their dominance and came near scoring several times. The easiest chance of the match went abegging when Mbyo headed the ball defeating Sangram in flight into the open net only to see N S Manju bring off a goalline save.

Bagan did push hard in the latter part of the match, but a rusty Barreto and heavily bottled Baichung meant no luck for the home side.

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