Churchill return to winning ways in I-leagueNovember 23rd, 2008 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 22 (IANS) The lethal Okoli Odafa struck midway into the second session to propel Churchill Brothers to a solitary goal win over local Mohammedan Sproting in the I-League here Sunday.Odafa put in a rebound in the 69th minute after Bineesh Balan’s shot came off the post. With two defenders closing in on him, the striker managed to unleash a measured shot that bisected the two rearguards and entered the goal, to fashion Churchill’s victory after a three-match hiatus.
With 11 goals, Odafa now is the top scorer of the league.
After ten rounds, Churchill are at the second spot with 17 points, while Sporting occupy the penultimate position, above wooden spooners Vasco, gleaning nine points in the 12-team league.
The well-contested match at the Salt Lake stadium saw both the teams attacking repeatedly, as the spectators had their moneys’ worth.
Sporting were, however, inconvenienced with both their key strikers Mike Okoro and Theodore Sunday not being fully fit. Coach Shabbir Ali’s decision to field them could be questioned as the duo made mistakes which they would not have committed in normal circumstances.
In the 20th minute, Sporting got a close look at the Churchill goal, when Okoro failed to beat rival goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, despite having him at his mercy. Sunday Theodore blew the rebound over.
Churchil missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the 42nd minute, with Felix failing to put the ball into the net despite having lots of vacant space before him.
Crossing over, Sporting’s Sunday showed delectable footwork as he dodged past a couple of defenders and then took a shot that grazed the post.
After Churchll got the goal, a desperate Sporting upped the ante, and carried out waves of attacks deep into the Goans’ territory.
Seconds before the final whistle, Sporting got a easy chance, but Bimal Pariyar - with only the goalkeeper to beat - shot straight to Bhattacharya.