The Gabonese striker scored the crucial goal to help keep Churchill Brothers' winning run going...Churchill Brothers SC edged out Salgaocar FC 2-1 in the fifth round of the I-League, at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, on Friday evening.
Roberto Mendes da Silva and Sean Rooney converted their penalties in the 22nd and 44th minutes for Churchill Brothers and Salgaocar FC respectively, while the Red Machines substitute Henri Antchouet scored the winner in the 88th minute.
Churchill started with Bineesh Balan who was returning from an injury to partner Akram Moghrabi in attack while Salgaocar continued to opt for Sean Rooney for the second successive game over Angel Guirado as the lone striker.
It was Churchill who dominated the early preceedings of the match with Balan's shot testing Salgaocar keeper Karanjit Singh in the sixth minute.
David Booth's side struggled to find a fair share of the ball until around 15 minutes while Churchill Brothers continued to launch several attacks.
Luciano Sobrosa, who doesn't commit many mistakes, was the guilty party this time around as he tripped Bineesh Balan inside the box which saw Beto score from the resultant penalty-kick in the 22nd minute.
The first shot attempted by a Salgaocar player came only in the 27th minute when Sean Rooney turned but saw his effort fly way above the crossbar. This was followed by Gilbert Oliveira forcing Churchill Brothers goalkeeper Sandip Nandy to make the first save three minutes later.
Rooney then decided to test the rival keeper from a tight angle down the left flank but Nandy was sturdy in his position to thwart the shot away, while at the other end Steven Dias' cross was connected well by Bineesh Balan, but the Salgaocar custodian did well to dive low to his left to save the danger.
Salgaocar were eventually awarded a penalty of their own when Francis Fernandes' shot hit the hand of Churchill defender Ravanan Dharmaraj. Rooney scored the equaliser from 12 yards out in the 44th minute.
Beto came close to putting his side into the lead again but saw his shot miss the far post by not much.
Just two minutes into the second half and Beto headed wide as he wasn't able to control the direction of his attempt from a Denzil Franco cross.
A good combination play between the two Lebanese players of Churchill Brothers saw Bilal Najjarine lob for Akram Moghrabi on the right, but the latter's powerful shot just about missed the far post in the 50th minute.
Almost 15 minutes later, Salgaocar's Gilbert Oliveira exchanged a quick one-two touch with Rooney before shooting horribly off-target with only the keeper to beat from outside the box.
After several spells of attacks of Churchill were foiled, Bilal Najjarine's overhead pass landed for substitute Henri Antchouet whose left-footed shot found the back of the net.
The win takes Churchill Brothers at the top of the table at least temporarily as Dempo have a match in hand on Saturday, while Salgaocar FC have five points from as many matches.
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