A Cristian Lagos brace alongwith a goal from Anthony Wolfe saw the Indian side capture all three points at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium...
Churchill Brothers SC cruised to a 3-0 victory over New Radiant in Group ‘E’ of the AFC Cup courtesy a brace from Cristian Lagos (31' , 75') and an Anthony Wolfe goal (53') sandwiched between the two at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.Cristian Lagos was named in place of the injured Balwant Singh in the starting line-up and it paid off handsomely for the Goan giants.
The first chance of the game was created as early as in the fourth minute as Raju Yumnam found himself in plenty of space down the left and played in a beautiful ball towards Lagos who headed it just wide off the post.
Churchill were at it again two minutes later as Anthony Pereira whipped in a fantastic delivery into the box to an unmarked Dharmaraj Ravanan. His looping header was, however saved by Imran Mohammed, the New Radiant custodian.
New Radiant created their first chance of the game in the 15th minute when Mukhtaar Naseer sent in a low cross to Fasir Ali who was lurking at the far post but his shot was way off target.
Churchill had a penalty appeal in the 19th minute as Abdelhamid Shabana skipped past two defenders only to be brought down in the box. The referee however was not interested despite furious protests by the home team and a goal-kick was awarded.
The deadlock was broken a minute after the half hour mark, following a brilliant bit of play from Churchill. Satish Singh found himself with plenty of room on the right. His cross found Wolfe who chested it calmly for Lagos to blast it into the net giving Mohammed no chance.
The Indian side were on the ascendancy following their goal and could have doubled their lead in the 43rd minute as Lagos played a brilliant ball to Wolfe who’s shot was saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
Churchill had another chance in the following minute as Shabana weaved his way through the New Radiant defense and got himself into a good position in the box, but he failed to test the goalkeeper from close range.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first as Churchill continued to pile on pressure. Lenny Rodrigues played a beautiful through ball to Satish Singh in the 48th minute whose curling cross into the box was saved by Mohammed, with the New Radiant skipper being the only thing that kept his team still in the game.
Poor defending from New Radiant in the 53rd minute allowed Wofle to double the lead for Churchill. Following a throw-in from the right, the ball was not cleared and Wolfe grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Even two goals could not subdue the rampant Red Machines as Shabana sprinted into the box and laid it on to Anthony Pereira in the 62nd minute whose shot just missed the near post.
Anthony Pereira was at it again as his free-kick from the left flank found Wolfe, but his leap was not well timed and hence the header went over.
Cristian Lagos got his second of the night in the 75th minute. Shabana’s long range effort was well saved by Mohammed but it was Lagos who displayed poacher's insticnt to be first to the rebound tapping it into the open net.
Churchill could have scored a few more but Wolfe failed to convert two big chances in the dying minutes of the game.
Churchill recorded their first three points in the AFC Cup group stages this season as they earned a well deserved victory in a match they dominated with the lack of match practice clearly showing for a jaded New Radiant side.
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