Velton opened the tally for the Capital city side, while Israil cancelled it in the second half for the Red machine…
Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes made three changes to his side as he gave first start to Israil Gurung and Pankaj Sona following their best performance after coming off the bench in last two matches. Aldrich Coelho was the other change on the side. while Velton D’Souza who replaced Chandan Gawas was the only change for Panjim.
It was just 30 seconds after the kick-off when fans witnessed the first goal of the match from Panjim side as Mahesh Kumar tried his lick from the top of the box only to see it denied by the woodwork but his teammate Velton made an easy tap to loose ball and put his side ahead.
Churchill suffered another blow in the match when their striker Pankaj was badly injured and was replaced by Joshuah Vaz in the 12th minutes. Though they conceded in the early stage of the match, Churchill regrouped and marched many times on the opponents where Israil came up with numerous crosses in the box but Panjim U-20 defenders Clive Miranda and Schubert D’Costa cleared every danger.
At the other end, Panjim also had a couple of chances to further increase their lead but first Snedden Rodrigues saw his powerful striker rebound off the bottom left and later, Velton’s curling 25-yarder was nicely palmed by Churchill keeper Ricardo Cardozo.
Down by a goal, Churchill coach Alfred made some tactical changes bringing in tricky midfielder Alber Gonsalves replacing striker Aldrich, while Israil was given the responsibilities of striking.
Unlike in the first half, Churchill came out stronger in the second half and completely dominated the second session with several opportunities come to their ways but Panjim last line was too strong to beat. In one of these, Alber went for the glory from the distance with a curling free-kick but Panjim keeper Gurpreet Singh brilliantly collected the same.
With just less than 30 minutes left on the clock, Coach Alfred used their last substitution bringing in Valerio Rodrigues in place of Arvind Silva to strengthen them in attacking and the result came in just four minutes after he coming in as Churchill found the equaliser in the 67 minutes when Sevlon Cardozo sent a cross to Alber in the box who in return made head pass to unmarked Israil who sent the keeper wrong way from 6-yards to put his side on level.
Five minutes later, they had a chance to take the lead as Valerio found Joshuah with just keeper to beat but the striker’s weak shot was easily collected by keeper Gurpreet.
Meanwhile, Panjim also had a chance to once again go on a lead but Mahesh’s powerful shot from inside the box was timely blocked by Sevlon to keep his side safe.