The Red Machines secured their third straight win in the league.
Clencio Pinto scored in the second half, as Churchill Brothers secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Vasco Sports Club in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Thursday.
Churchill medifielders Kalif Alhassan, Israil Gurang and Quan Gomes made some superb feeds to striker Willis Plaza upfront, but it was the brilliance of Vasco’s last line that kept the Trinidadian striker at bay in the first half.
However, they had one chance to take the lead in the dying minutes of the half. Jovel Martin tried to find Plaza with a superb cross in the box, but Vasco skipper Anil Gaonkar made a timely clearance before the forward could do any damage.
Churchill coach Edward Ansah brought in Clencio to replace U-20 forward Preston Fernandes to sharpen them in attack. The forward could have recorded his name on the scoresheet in the very first minute after coming on. Wendell Coelho found him with a square pass in the box, but the striker missed the target narrowly.
Vasco came up with their first potent attack on the counter. Suraj Mondal went for glory from outside the box. Churchill custodian MD Jaffer Mondal failed to collect the ball, but managed to keep his side safe at the second attempt.
Vasco’s substitute keeper Amit Das was also tested in the 67th minute. Clencio dribbled past an opponent to enter the box and tried his luck, but the Vasco custodian brilliantly fisted it over the crossbar for a corner.
However, in the 71st minute, Vasco keeper Amit could not stop Clencio from scoring. After getting a throug -pass from Plaza he made no mistake to beat the keeper from close to make it 1-0.
Vasco had two opportunities to make is all square in the last few minutes of the match. First, Suraj Mondal failed to capitalize on an easy chance from inside the box.
In the added minutes, he had another opportunity. Cote D’Ivoirian forward Lago Bei came up with a fine low cross to him in front of goal, but the midfielder’s strike missed the target by hairline distance.