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Churchill Brothers come from a goal down to beat Corps of Signals in GPL

Written by: Ravish R Narvekar

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Trinidadian international Willis Plaza played an important role in the Red Machines' victory.

Churchill Brothers registered an easy 3-1 win over Corps of Signals in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.

Despite this three points, Churchill continued at the bottom of the table with 10 points from 10 matches, while Signals has 18 points from 18 outings.

Churchill who had drawn with FC Bardez in their last match had few changes as coach Alfred Fernandes named Trinidadian international Willis Plaza who had scored two goals against Delhi Dynamos in the Super Cup match, and Kyrgyzstani midfielder Bektur Uulu along with Nicholas Fernandes and Yendrenbam Metei in the starting XI, while Signals manager Major VS Kamble also made few changes to his side which lost to Guardian Angel SC in the previous round match as Rudresh Mandrekar made debut for the Army men, while Paul Victor was back in the lineup.

Churchill were the first to look at the goal when their U-20 winger Sevlon Cardozo tried his luck from the edge of the box but his powerful shot was nicely collected by Signals keeper Binu Purushothama.

A few minutes later, Signals defender Kuldeep Singh came with a timely clearance to Metei’s cross when he was trying to find Plaza in front of the goal. However, in the very next minutes, Metei brilliantly fed Plaza in the box who chested it down before striking on the goal but Signals keeper Binu brilliantly blocked it at the cost of a corner.

Churchill wasted another chance in the 32nd minutes when Plaza failed to connect to the open header from close off Nicholas’ perfect cross from the left.


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In the closing stage of the first session, Churchill's tricky winger Nicholas tried his luck from the distance but Signals keeper made an acrobatic effort to push the ball for a corner.

With attacking department failing to capitalise on chance, Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes brought in striker Pankaj Sona replacing Abhishek Rawat at the halftime, while U-20 Sevlon made way for Britto PM in the early second session.

However, Signals came out stronger in the second half and stunned the I-League outfits in the 58th minute with an opening goal. Harshad Thube made a darting run and set up U-20 striker Cyril Dias with just keeper to beat but Churchill keeper Ricardo Cardozo blocked him in one-on-one situation, however the custodian could not manage to clear the danger completely, taking advantage of the same, unmarked Vishnu Chetri slotted the ball in the empty net to put Signals into the lead.

However, the Army men could not hold the lead for too long as Churchill took more five minutes to equalise as Plaza’s powerful strike from close was nicely blocked by Signals keeper Binu, the ball later rolled to Britto whose fierce shot from just inside the box finished at the far post to make it all square for the Red Machines.

Ten minutes later, Churchill almost took the lead when Nicholas once again tried his luck from the top of the box but this time he was denied by the woodwork. However, in the 78th minutes Plaza put Churchill into the lead when he dribbled past two defenders in the box after receiving a through pass from Bektur and placed it in the goal from close to make it 2-1 for his side.  

In the closing stage of the match, Metei was unlucky not to inflate Churchill’s lead as his powerful 30-yarder hit the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick. However, in the next minute, Pankaj Sona cut past two defenders and shot past Signals keeper Binu to confirm all three points from the match.   

Published: Sat Mar 24, 2018 08:52 PM IST

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