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Churchill hold Calangute in GPL

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The Varca-based club earned a point after two back-to-back defeats...

Churchill Brothers Sports Club held Calangute Association to a goalless draw in the Goa Professional League match played at Corps of Signals Ground earlier today.

After a poor show against Corps of Signals, Calangute managed to beat FC Bardez and drew against Sporting Clube de Goa in their last two matches, while Churchill were struggling in the league as they have suffered humiliating 4-0 and 5-0 defeats against Sporting Goa and Salgaocar FC.

Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes made three changes to his side as Ricardo Cardoz replaced Aliston Fernandes in goal, while Nicholas Fernandes and Basant Rai came in replacing Mainoo Dadonavoor and Chesterpoul Lyngdoh. Calangute coach Valentine Ezeugo made only one change bringing in Valerio Rodrigues in place of injured Raju Haldankar.

The match started with equal attacks from both the sides but the major part of the first half was dominated by Churchill. They created the first chance of the match when Sandeep Subba found a well-placed Nicholas in the box, but the winger failed to control his shot. Once again Sandeep cut past a defender and tried to find Pankaj Sona in front of the goal but Kouame Joaeph cleared it for a corner. Churchill missed one more golden opportunity when Basant dribbled past two defenders and sent a perfect cross in the box but Pankaj failed to connect with a free header from 10 yards with goalkeeper Jason D’Mello out of position.

At the other end, Calangute produced three quick attacks. First, Yogesh Kada got hold of a loose ball on the halfway line, covered some ground and curled into the feet of Valerio, but the midfielder failed to put power in his shot. Next Sunny Fernandes' powerful shot sailed over the crossbar from close range off Bonny Niasso’s low cross. With Calangute failing every time in the final third, coach Valentine brought in Agnelo Colaco replacing Valerio and he had an instant impact right after coming off the bench when he dribbled past two defenders and sent a sparkling shot on goal which was intercepted by his teammate Josley Dias but he failed to finish it in goal with Churchill keeper Ricardo out of position.

In the last few minutes of the first session, the Red Machines came close to scoring when Mickey Vaz found well-positioned Sandeep with a curling cross from the left flank, but the winger was unlucky as his header hit the post and directly went into the hands of keeper Jason. A few minutes later, Banpynkhrawnam N missed a open header from point blank range.

With so many missed chances both the sides went into the break with no goals on the score sheet. 

Churchill coach Alfred brought in Doyl D’Silva in place of Samson Fernandes who was lacking in attack but most of the second half was dominated by Calangute. With both teams trying to keep possession, the match was restricted to midfield play in the first ten minutes of the second session.  In between that, Calangute’s Agnelo surprised the opponents by dribbling past four defenders to enter the danger area and fired a powerful shot but Churchill’s defender Basant made no mistake to clear it off the goal-line. Ten minutes later, once again Calangute came close to scoring when Runall Shirodkar found Sunny in the box with a perfect cross but the striker’s header missed the target by a whisker. One more chance went begging for Calangute when Sunny tried his luck from the edge of the box, only to see it go wide by inches.

With both teams failing to break the deadlock, the match ended in a goalless draw.

Calangute coach Valentine was disappointed and said, “I am not happy, I was expecting all three points from this outing. My boys didn't give their best today.”

Whereas Churchill coach Alfred was happy with a point and said, “A point against a strong team is big for us. They were playing with two foreigners and many quality players. I can say it was a good result for us.”

With this draw, the Red Machines moved up one place to 8th with 13 points from 17 matches, while Calangute have 33 points from 18 outings and stand 4th in the league table.

 

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa. A true Football enthusiast & a diehard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he's an avid foodie.

Published: Sat Dec 17, 2016 09:46 PM IST

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