Nicholas Fernandes played an influential role in the Red Machines’ massive win.
Trinidadian striker Anthony Wolfe and substitute Clencio Pinto scored braces, as Churchill Brothers outclassed Panjim Footballers by a massive 6-1 margin in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Suraj Singh and Umesh Harijan were the other scorers for the Red Machines, while, Joyson Gaunkar scored the lone goal for the capital city side.
Churchill gaffer Norbert Gonsalves fielded an almost similar XI to the one which held Vasco SC in their last match. However, Umesh Harijan was the only change for the Varca side. On the other hand, Panjim coach Savio Vaz introduced newly-signed midfielder Kunal Kundaikar into the starting XI, following a 1-1 draw against Guardian Angel SC in the previous round.
It was just a moment after the kick-off when Churchill came close to scoring, as their Trinidadian striker Anthony Wolfe produced a long pass to Nicholas Fernandes on the wing. He smartly chested it down and went for glory from distance, but his shot missed the target by a whisker.
However, in the 6th minute, the Red Machines opened their tally, when Gilbert Oliveira’s short corner was curled in by Nicholas and Umesh made no mistake to tap the ball home from point-blank range to put his side ahead.
Churchill doubled their lead in the very next minute, as this time Gilbert’s well-taken corner was headed on by Nicholas and a well-placed Wolfe directed it into the goal by smartly chesting it down to make it 2-0 to the Red Machines.
The capital city side also had a chance to reduce the margin in the 19th minute, when Vallmiky Miranda set up Daryl Costa with a superb through pass and covered some ground before shooting from inside the box, only to see it miss by a whisker.
At the other end, Churchill further extended their lead in the 23rd minute, when Gilbert’s perfect cross was brilliantly headed in by Suraj Singh making it 3-0 for his side.
A few minutes later, Panjim came up with another attack, as this time Alston Camotio made a short pass to Joyson Gaunkar in the box, but his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Churchill defender William Niasso to keep his side safe.
Churchill added another to their tally in the 35th minute, as Nicholas’ shot was brilliantly blocked by Panjim custodian Sherwin Da Cunha. However, the loose ball was brilliantly fed to Wolfe in the box by Cyrus Noronha. The Trinidadian later made no mistake to shoot past the out of position Panjim keeper to complete his brace.
Wolfe later made way for striker Clencio Pinto, who took just 10 seconds in the second half to get onto the scoresheet, as he snatched the ball from Panjim defender Akram Yadwad and clinically finished the chance from inside the box to make it 5-0 for the Red Machines.
A few minutes later, Churchill had a chance to score their sixth goal when Clencio found James Fernandes with just the Panjim keeper to beat, but the striker’s shot was brilliantly tipped over by custodian Sherwin. However, in the 56th minute, Clencio scored his second and the team’s sixth when James sent a square pass to him in the box and he once again produced a clinical finish from inside the box making it 6-0.
They had an easy chance to further inflate their lead in the very next minute, when Panjim defender Kunal brought down Clencio in the box to give away a penalty to the opponents, but substitute Abhishek Rawat’s shot from the spot was brilliantly blocked by Panjim keeper Sherwin.
Just after the hour mark, Panjim finally succeeded in breaking Churchill’s strong defence as Joyson Gaunkar made an easy tap-in from under the goalmouth to reduce the margin for the capital city side.
The next few minutes saw Panjim come up with a series of attacks, but Daryl, Delton Colaco and Snedden Rodrigues wasted easy chances to get back into the match. Meanwhile, Panjim suffered another blow in the 83rd minute, when their playmaker Vallmiky was sent off by referee Chandrashekhar Shirodkar with a straight red card for using abusive language.