The Army club completely dominated the match but failed to score….

Corps of Signals held mighty Churchill Brothers to a goalless draw in the Goa Professional League match played at Corps Ground, Navelim Goa.

The Red Machines were struggling in the league as they had lost 8 matches out of 12 played. However, a narrow win in the last match against Clube Sao Miguel Taleigao had brought some life in their GPL campaign. While, the Army club was without a win in their last 10 matches. Their only win came in the season opener against Calangute Association.

The Corps coach L. T. Pachaua made two changes to his side as striker Ankan Dawn was back in the line-up, replacing Vishnu Chetrri. He also gave a debut to the U20 goalkeeper Ozen Silva in place of injured Niyas Mon. The Churchill head coach Alfred Fernandes made four changes bringing Pankaj Sona, Chesterpual Lynghdoh and Mainoo Dadonavoor back into the starting XI. He also gave a first start to Banpynkhrawnam N.

The match was hosted by Corps of Signals with players coming out from a tunnel to the Champions league anthem. The stands were full with their cadets occupying most of the seats . While their supporters were not like the other fans who came to life only when their team was attacking. The home fans were busy cheering their team in the entire match.

The match witnessed an end-to-end affair with both teams canceling each other out. But as the match progressed Signals took control. However, the first attack came from the visitors, when Chesterpaul got hold of a loose ball on the halfway line, covered some ground dribbling past three defenders but shot wide from inside the box. At the other end, Signals came up with three successive attacks. First, Pawan Thakur sent a perfect cross in the box, only to see Lairellakpam Singh shoot it wide. Later Chand Singh failed to control his header from close range, off TH Roshan Singh’s corner. While Churchill keeper Aliston Fernandes made a diving save to deny Roshan’s goalbound free-kick. Once again Chesterpoul was in the action when he cut past four defenders and entered the danger zone, but like the last time the U-20 midfielder failed to control his shot. Later part of the first session witnessed two more attacks from Signals. First, Ankan’s header missed the target by hairline distance off Roshan’s curling free-kick. Later same players were in the action, but this time Roshan failed to finish the ball from close range.

With both sides failing to find the opener, the teams left the pitch for haft-time level.

Signals came out with more aggressive play in the second half and marched many times on the former I-League champions. In one of these attacks Pawan’s shot was handled by Churchill’s Banpynkhrawnam in the box, the referee directly awarded a penalty to the hosts. But, Kuldeep Kumar’s spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Churchill keeper Aliston. Churchill took advantage of the situation and quickly launched a counter-attack when Thingnam Singh sent a perfect cross to Pankaj in the box, but the striker failed to connect with his header and ball and went for a goal-kick.

The latter part of the match saw attacking football from both the ends but both sides failed to find a winner as the match ended in a goalless draw.

The Signals manager Major Viraj Kamble was not happy with the result and said, “ I am not happy, I would have loved to win at home. We created so many chances but did not finish them.”

With this draw, Churchill stand 8th with 11 points from 13 matches, while Signals stand at 10th in the league table with just 6 points from 12 outings.

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa . A true Football enthusiast & a die hard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he’s an avid foodie.