Churchill Brothers grabbed a late winner from Jaison Vales to claim all three points in a thrilling 3-2 victory against Sporting Clube de GoaChurchill Brothers SC finally got the elusive victory that they have been chasing, edging past Sporting Clube de Goa 3-2 in a round 11 match of the I-League at the Duler stadium in Mapusa, on Thursday.
Abdelhamid Shabana broke the deadlock at the end of the first minute of play while Boima Karpeh scored the equaliser in the fifth minute before Balwant Singh put Churchill Brothers back in the lead in the 37th minute. In a late drama, Pratesh Shirodkar brought Sporting on level terms for the second time in the 89th minute but not before Jaison Vales (90+5') scored the injury time winner.
The Red Machines parted ways with their foreign players while the Syrian duo of Yaser Shahen and Naser Al Sebai along with their Egyptian midfielder Abdelhamid Shabana were handed I-League debuts.
With Dawson Fernandes out injured, Oscar Bruzon started with Boima Karpeh in attack who had Cajetan Fernandes and Ogba Kalu Nnanna for support with Victorino Fernandes starting on the bench, while Arturo Garcia was employed as a center-back.
Churchill Brothers scored the opener in their very first move when Balwant Singh found Abdelhamid Shabana on his left and the Egyptian midfielder made no mistake as he found the back of the net.
It didn't take long for Sporting Clube de Goa to hit back with the equaliser which was a similar kind of goal.
Keenan Almeida's cross was directed at the back post of Arindam Bhattacharya's goal and finished by Boima Karpeh.
In the 14th minute, a long ball from Garcia that Kalu chested down and played to Cajetan Fernandes was rather wasted by the Goan midfielder who literally passed the ball to the Churchill defense instead of having a go at goal.
The defending champions looked the better side as they created a few more chances among which saw Denzil Franco narrowly miss the target on the far side from the right after receiving a pass by Shabana and Balwant headed wide twice.
Mariano Dias' men then pulled themselves back into the lead in the 37th minute after Yasser Shahen laid off the ball for Balwant who shot past Ravi Kumar, although the Sporting goalkeeper got a touch to it.
Shabana could have scored his second after he moved in between Keenan and Gonzalo, but was denied by Ravi Kumar in a one-on-one situtation before Sporting defender Mathew Gonsalves got rid of the rebound to send the Flaming Oranje in the break trailing 2-1.
With 20 minutes to go in the second half, a Sporting attack saw Jovel Martins release Karpeh who found himself in a one-on-one situation with Arindam, but the Churchill goalkeeper pulled off a good save. The hosts immediately launched a counter attack as Al Sebai's shot fizzed across the face of the goal.
With one minute of normal time remaining, Pratesh Shirodkar scored the equaliser for the away side. Following a delightful through-ball by substitute Mauvin Borges, the midfielder was able to convert the chance from inside the box.
However, there was to be another twist in the tale as Jaison Vales popped up with a dramatic winner for the home side in the fifth minute of injury-time. The Churchill substitute chested the ball over the line from a cross by Anthony Pereira who was played through on the right wing by Shahen.
The win was Churchill Brothers' first in 10 games and lifted them off from the foot of the table while Sporting were unable to keep pace with the top three and hence remain in 5th place with 15 points.
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