I-League 2018-19: Willis Plaza on target as Churchill edge past Indian Arrows
I-League Media
Churchill Brothers return to winning ways after two successive defeats...

Churchill Brothers registered a hard fought 1-0 victory over Indian Arrows at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday afternoon.

Willis Plaza (40') continued his brilliant scoring form and scored the solitary goal of the match to hand his team the vital three points.

Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto chose to stick to the winning combination that emerged victorious against Gokulam Kerala. Boris Singh was deployed on the left flank while Asish Rai slotted in at the right back position.

On the other hand, Churchill Brothers coach Petre Gigiu made five changes to the side that lost 2-1 against East Bengal. James Kithan regained his place between the sticks while Vignesh Baskaran was relegated to the bench. Rowlinson Rodrigues slotted in at the right-back position in place of Shallum Pires. Midfield anchor Khalid Aucho did not travel with the team as he served a one-match suspension. Aniston Fernandes and Richard Costa started in midfield with Dawda Ceesay and Willis Plaza upfront.

Plaza was the livewire for Churchill and tested goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill as early as the fourth minute when he made space for himself and shot at goal. It took a brilliant finger-tip save from Gill to deny the Red Machines an early goal.

It was a cagey-affair in the first-half as both teams struggled to create chances. They were scrappy in midfield and were happy to exchange possession in quick successions.

Just when it seemed that both the teams would break at half-time with a 0-0 score, Plaza broke the deadlock. Jitendra Singh failed to clear his lines and the loose ball fell for the Trinidadian who scored past Gill from close range.

After the break, Pinto's men started to show some urgency in search of the equaliser.

In the 74th minute they could have drawn level only if Anwar had kept his shot on target from inside the six-yard box. Boris delivered a measured set-piece inside the box which was poorly defended by Churchill. The loose ball fell for the defender but he blasted his shot over the crossbar.

The last quarter of the match was dominated by Arrows but Churchill's defence held their ground.

With this win, Churchill climb to the fourth spot with 16 points and will next face Minerva Punjab at home on January 5. On the other hand, Indian Arrows will hit the road to take on Aizawl FC on the same day.

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