Churchill Brothers FC Goa made significant strides up the table as they secured a crucial 3-0 victory over DSK Shivajians at the Tilak Maidan in Goa. In the process, the Red Machines move over Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC on the table for the time being.
Three second half goals from newly appointed captain Anthony Wolfe (63′), Ghanefo Kromah (67′) and Surabuddin Mollick (90+4′) sealed what was only their second win of the season as coach Derrick Pereira got the better of his previous club. It was also only the Goan club’s second clean sheet of the season and one of their best results so far.
Going into the game, there were some small but notable changes to Churchill Brothers line-up with Derrick Pereira handing the captain’s armband to Anthony Wolfe from Keenan Almeida, while second choice goalkeeper Naveen Kumar was promoted over Priyant Singh, winger Seriton Fernandes was turned into a makeshift left back as he replaced Satish Singh.
Despite a big margin win, the match was a slow burner with caution appearing to be the mantra for both sides. There was very little attacking output from both teams in the first 15 minutes. However, in the first quarter of the match, Churchill enjoyed the better chances. At the other end, Shivajians had a goal-scoring chance of their own.
Attacker Holicharan Nazary had a close range header saved by Naveen Kumar as the scores were tied 0-0 at half-time. As the game reached the hour mark, the teams were struggling to create chances but Shivajians enjoyed a great opportunity until the 62nd minute. A quick counter attack saw Juan Quero Barrasso release substitute Pranjal Bhumij who hit the crossbar.
The visitors paid the price in the very next minute as Churchill drew first blood in the 63rd minute as skipper Wolfe started and finished a brilliant attacking move. Wolfe collected a ball outside the box before completing a one-two pass with Brandon. The forward received a brilliant return pass from Brandon and the forward struck beautifully with his left foot.
Churchill’s tail was up and they doubled the lead in the 67th minute. A quick counter-attack disoriented the Shivajians defence as Chesterpaul Lyngdoh held off defenders Charles McFaul and Ongnam Milan Singh which allowed Kromah to collect the ball and run clear on goal before a side-foot finish past Subrata.
The icing on the cake was the smothering strike from substitute Mollick to beat Subrata with a brilliant long-range shot to make it 3-0. After the win, Churchill Brothers have climbed up to the eighth spot with nine points from eleven matches, above Mumbai FC & Chennai City FC. Meanwhile, this win will provide them with a much-needed boost ahead of their high-voltage clash against Mohun Bagan on March 4, 2017. DSK Shivajians will fly to Chennai to take on the debutantes next day.