Churchill taste first defeat in I-League

November 9th, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 9 (IANS) Three-time champions Mohun Bagan rode on an early strike to pip Goa’s Churchill Brothers 1-0 in an I-League encounter here Sunday.Upfronter Lalam Puiya got the all-important goal for the local outfit in the 14th minute to hand Churchill their first defeat in the ongoing second edition of the glamorous league.

The in-form Marcos Pereira did the spadework from the right, as Churchill’s Gourmangi Singh misjudged the flight and Lalam Puiya controlled the ball with an excellent first touch before finishing off with a clinical placement into the far corner of the net.

With Sunday’s win, Bagan are now on nine points from seven games.

Despite the defeat, Churchill have five points more than Bagan.

The match saw Bagan switch into an ultra defensive mode after the goal. With their medios operating from the deep, there was a yawning gap between them and the forwards.

Churchill seized the opportunity and carried one attack after another into the opponent defence, but failed to alter the scoreline.

The Bagan defenders took the heart out of the Churchill offensive by bottling up their main forward Okoli Odafa.

Churchill continued to have more of the ball possession after the lemon break, but muffed up a couple of sitters.

Chimaokwu Felix was off-target in the 47th minute, while Nicolas Rodrigues put over an Odafa pass 21 minutes later.

Bagan were then fighting with the backs to the wall but the script changed a bit a little later as Bhaichung Bhutia dropped down to aid the defenders.

Lalam Puiya failed to fire despite having rival custodian Arindam Ghosh at his mercy while James Singh missed another opportunity ten minutes from time.

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