The Varca-side continued their unbeaten streak under coach Armando Colaco.

Ronil Azavedo scored a stunner in the added minutes to rescue Velsao Sports & Cultural Club as they held Churchill Brothers Sports Club to a 2-2 draw in the Goa Pro League at Duler Stadium on Tuesday.

The Mormugao side took the lead through Brian Mascarenhas who scored from the spot-kick in the 18th minute, while Jobern Cardozo levelled back for Churchill in the 42nd minute. Churchill’s U20 completed his brace in the 52nd minute to put his side into the lead but Ronil scored a stunner in the last minute of the added time to share the points in the Goa Pro League.

Churchill made few changes to their side which earned three points against Calangute Association as defender Barsal Viegas, Rajender Singh and Trijoy Dias were back, while I-League squad members Kingslee Fernandes and Schubert Pereira were included in the starting XI by their coach Armando Colaco. On the other hand, Caine Moura, Akshay Pashilkar, Joseph Pereira and Romario Da Costa made the cut for the Mormugao club which suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of YC Manora in the previous round.

Churchill, who were stronger side due to the inclusion of few I-League players in their squad, should have taken the lead in the 4th minute when Bersal made a perfect through pass to Kingslee in the box who easily cut past a defender and shot at the goal but his goalbound strike was brilliantly blocked by Velsao keeper Presley Mascarenhas.

The Red Machines continued their attack but it were the Mormugao side who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when referee Prasad Surlikar whistled and pointed towards the penalty spot after Churchill defender Asif Molla brought down Joseph in the box to gift away the scoring opportunity to the opponents. Velsao’s experienced Brian Mascarenhas stepped forward and made no mistake from the spot to put his side into the lead.

Churchill refused to give up after conceding an early goal and after probing attacks finally managed to level back with just three minutes to halftime as Schubert tried his luck from the top of the box whose shot was brilliantly blocked by Velsao keeper Presley but the skipper failed to clear the danger completely as the ball spilt off his gloves. Taking advantage of the same, Churchill U20 midfielder Jobern Cardozo slotted the ball home making it all square.

The Mormugao side had another chance to take the lead in the added minutes when their forward Romario made a brilliant through pass to Joseph in the box but the forward could not make most of the opportunity as Churchill keeper Debnath Mondal came off his line to thwart him in a one-on-one situation.        

The Red Machines surge ahead in the 52nd minute when Kingslee sent a through pass to Schubert who perfectly curled it to Jobern who completed his brace with a neat tap-in from close making it 2-1 for Churchill.

Velsao came close to equalizing just after crossing the hour mark as their forward went for glory with a powerful strike from inside the box which hit Churchill’s onrushing keeper Debnath before defender Asif clearing off the goalline. They wasted another opportunity to level back in the 80th minute as this time, Brian found substitute Piyush Sikarwar in the box but the forward failed to capitalize on an easy opportunity as the ball went out for a goal kick.

However, after wasting two clear-cut opportunities, the Mormugao based club finally managed to upset the rivals in the added minutes with an equalizer as Churchill’s last line failed to clear Brian’s long freekick where Ronil scored the stunner to snatch a point from Churchill in the Goa Pro League.   

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