The Red Machines had drawn their away tie 0-0 against the visitors while managing a 2-1 victory in the return leg...Churchill Brothers SC further increased their lead on top after defeating United Sikkim FC in the round 16 I-League encounter played at the Duler stadium in Goa, on Sunday.
Roberto Mendes da Silva (Beto) had scored the opener in the fourth minute which was later doubled by Henri Antchouet who scored from the spot in the 72nd minute. John Landa Matkin scored the lone goal for United Sikkim.
Mariano Dias made three changes to the side that started against Pailan Arrows as Henri Antchouet, Israil Gurung and Raju Yumnam were included in the starting eleven.
Nathan Hall also had a couple of changes in his set-up with Michael Rodriguez back in the side, besides Mexican American John Lada Matkin making his I-League debut.
United Sikkim suffered an early early set-back as center-back Anwar Ali had to be replaced by Zenith Mashangva due to an injury, just before the first goal was scored by the home side.
Steven Dias' flag-kick was relatively easily nodded in by Beto after some good work by Raju Yumnam and Israil Gurung to earn a corner as early as in the fourth minute.
Monotosh Ghosh pulled off a save to block Beto's volley from Dias' cross in the 17th minute to keep the scoreline intact. Churchill striker Henri Antchouet, who was released by Israil Gurung, did well to beat the off-side trap in the 21st minute, but Ghosh came off his line to make the save.
In one of the rare chances that fell to the Snow Lions two minutes past the half hour mark, Nima Tamang's cross was mishit by Nurudin Salau as the Nigerian tried to connect a volley, while substitute Zenith Mashangwa followed up with a shot from inside the box which flew wide.
In the 37th minute, Yumnam and Gurung yet again were seen combining on the left wing to cross the ball to Dias on the far side who set-up Lenny Rodrigues, but the midfielder blasted it wide.
It took quite a while for both the teams to settle into the second half as the first real chance of the half came in the 63rd minute when Antchouet attempted an overhead volley from Denzil Franco's cross, but the Gabonese didn't get the best of connections to his shot that went wide.
Two minutes later, Ghosh got the better of Akram Moghrabi in a one-on-one situation after the Lebanese striker had snatched the ball from United Sikkim defender Safar Sardar.
Sardar was however guilty of bringing down Denzil Franco in the USFC box as the referee pointed to the spot. Antchouet converted successfully by sending Ghosh the wrong side in the 72nd minute.
John Landa Matkin then made his goal look easy in the 77th minute as the United Sikkim striker cut past Israil Gurung and Lenny Rodrigues before he got his left-footer on target to reduce the goal deficit for his side.
Churchill Brothers are hence with 34 points from 14 matches, while United Sikkim languish with 10 points from 15 matches.
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