Mariano Dias' side shall go into the break second in the league table as they failed to register three points against the Kolkatan outfit...Churchill Brothers SC have only themselves to blame as they allowed Prayag United SC twice to comeback and equalise after having done the hardwork to take the lead in a round 20 I-League match, on Sunday.
With game ending in a 2-2 draw at the Duler Stadium, the Red Machines head into the break a point behind league leaders East Bengal, who have played two more games, while Prayag United are placed fifth with 31 points from 20 matches.
Naveen Kumar, Sanjay Balmuchu and Naveen Kumar started for the home side with Tomba Singh suffering from an injury and Dharmaraj Ravanan being suspended.
Eelco Schattorie, who was without the services of the injured K.Asif and Kayne Vincent along side Carlos Hernandez who is yet to comeback from Costa Rica, made two changes from the last game against Air India as Gouramangi Moirangthem and Tapan Maity were handed a start.
It was the home side who started better with Steven Dias' free-kick being headed wide by Akram Moghrabi as early as in the third minute while another of Dias' crosses from the right being thwarted by goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee with Henry Antchouet lurking in the area.
The away side's first real chance came in the 13th minute when C.K.Vineeth's attempt on goal was effectively blocked by Denzil Franco after the former was played into the area by Shylo Malswamtulunga.
Churchill's Lenny Rodrigues was having an impressive day in the office as the midfielder was helping the ball around and also shielded the defense which has weakened since the departure of Bilal Najjarin to UAE.
|Bello Rasaq kept Henri Antchouet quiet for most of the match|
The deadlock was broken in the 28th minute when Beto's free-kick from about 30 yards bounced awkwardly in front of Sangram Mukherjee. Off the rebound, Antchouet's attempt came off the right post before Moghrabi found target by putting his head to good use.
Prayag United had an opportunity to equalise soon after but Ranti Martins headed wide from a Dhanachandra Singh cross while Lenny forced a save from Mukherjee down the other end.
Schattorie's side did manage to go into the break having scored the equaliser in the injury time of the first half. That was when Lalkamal Bhowmick's cross was headed by Mohammed Rafique, but the ball came off the post and fell at the feet of Ranti Martins who couldn't have missed the target from a handshaking distance.
After the break, the two sides look revitalized and there was an extra yard or two of pace from both sides as they build-up attacks.
Sanjay Balmuchu's long ball for Moghrabi in the United SC box saw Mukherjee bring down the Lebanese striker in desperation and referee Navin J. Sundi had no option but to point to the spot in the 60th minute. Beto converted from the penalty spot to help reclaim his side's lead which lasted only three minutes.
The visitors equalised for the second time in the match as Lalkamal Bhowmick's floater was nodded into Sandip Nandy's net by substitute Rafique, who had come on for Lal Mohan Hansdah in the 36th minute of the first half.
Churchill had a chance to score the winner when Naveen Kumar spotted the run of Bineesh Balan who wasn't able to beat the experienced Prayag custodian in the 86th minute.
The Goan side need to sort their defensive issues as they do not look a strong side in the absence of Bilal Najjarin and need to find a replacement before their AFC Cup committments begin.
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