Durand Cup: Churchill start title defence with a win

October 27th, 2010 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Defending champions Churchill Brothers began their Durand Cup football campaign with a 4-2 win over 10-man Madras Engineering Group (MEG), Bangalore, in the quarterfinal league here Wednesday.

Churchill dominated the proceedings from the start and led 3-2 at the end of an action packed first-half at the Ambedkar Stadium here.

Odafe Onyeka Okolie (2nd, 82nd) scored a brace while Binesh Balan (10th) and Hardeep Singh (16th) scored a goal apiece. Lokeshwar Singh scored twice for MEG.

Churchill strikers Odafe and Balan played with aggression in the first 15 minutes and MEG looked like a hapless lot.

Odafe gave Churchill the lead in the second minute, heading home Israil Gurung’s flag-kick. Balan then doubled the lead in the 10th minute from Zakeer’s cross. Two minutes later, Lokeshwar opened the account for MEG after he shot in from a rebound.

Churchill’s third goal came in an unusual way when their right-back Hardeep Singh cleared the ball and it went into MEG’s box, but goalkeeper Sujith fumbled to hand Churchill a 3-1 lead.

MEG stepped up the attack with Lokeshwar and Gourangi Lal. They found their second goal in the 26th minute when Lokeshwar tapped in from Jiten Metai’s precise cross from the left.

MEG were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute after Churchill’s Cameron import Ernest Marko was brought down in the box by Sujith and referee Mohammed Kamil gave marching orders to the goalkeeper.

Odafe converted the penalty kick to make it 4-2 for the title holders. The Nigerian came close to complete his hat-trick in the dying stages of the game, but his powerful shot kissed the bar on its way out.

In Thursday’s match, Sporting Clube de Goa face Gharwal Heroes while Air India face Salgaocar in their quarterfinal league matches.

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