Churchill Brothers got the result they needed to in order to save themselves from getting relegated…
Balwant Singh’s 65th minute winner ensured that Churchill Brothers avoided the drop as they secured a 2-1 victory over Salgaocar FC at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Monday evening. Augustin Fernandes’ own goal put Churchill ahead in the sixth minute which was soon cancelled out by Darryl Duffy.
Balwant Singh’s goal in the second half proved to be the difference as it took Churchill’s points tally to 25, one more than Mohammedan Sporting who finished at the bottom of the table.
Clifton Dias and Rosario Mendes were the two changes from the 3-3 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa for Salgaocar FC.
Churchill Brothers made as many four changes to the team that defeated New Radiant in the AFC Cup with Raju Yumnam, Balwant Singh, Saran Singh and Jaison Vales making their way into the line-up.
Chika Wali fouled Jaison Vales inside the box which saw referee Rahul Dsa point to the spot. Anthony Wolfe’s spot-kick was blocked by Karanjit Singh but his centre-back Augustin Fernandes slotted the ball home to make it 1-0 for Churchill.
Boosted with an early goal, the Red Machines went all out in attack and created a few chances through Saran Singh and Balwant Singh with the latter's shot on the turn being kept away by Karanjit Singh.
However, it was Darryl Duffy who scored the equaliser for Salgaocar FC eight minutes later as Rocus Lamare headed down Dudu Omagbemi's cross which the Scot tapped in.
Satish Singh's shot was blocked by Wali while Micky Fernandes' side volley went inches wide of the right post in the 35th minute.
The Greens could have put themselves in the lead against the run of the play when Duffy's attempt to place the ball at the far post from the left was palmed away by Lalit Thapa. On the rebound, Omagbemi wasn’t able to direct his header on target.
Towards the closing stages of the first half, Churchill had a couple of good opportunities to take the lead but were denied by Karanjit’s brilliance. He first dived to his right to keep Lenny Rodrigues’ attempt out and later got a touch to Wolfe’s cross which allowed Augustin to clear the danger with Balwant lurking around.
Five minutes in the second half, Thapa blocked Duffy's effort from a Matthew Foschini free-kick. Gilbert Oliveira shot the rebound wide, much to the disappointment of his team-mates.
Omagbemi had another chance to make amends for his earlier miss but his snap shot was saved by the Churchill custodian.
Churchill took the lead against the run of play when Wolfe played Lenny on the right whose cross was tapped in by Balwant Singh in the 65th minute.
Play was stopped for at least 15 minutes as the lights went off at the stadium. When the match finally resumed, Churchill continued to defend in numbers in order to defend their lead.
The score-line remained the same until the end as Churchill Brothers avoided the drop with the 2-1 victory.
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