I-League 2018-19: Anthony Wolfe on the double as Minerva Punjab continue winless run
The Red Machines moved into the top three by winning their first match of the new year...

Churchill Brothers defeated defending champions Minerva Punjab 2-0 at the Tilak Maidan Ground in Goa on Saturday to clinch a vital win in the I-League.

Trinidadian striker Anthony Wolfe scored a brace after the hour mark to see the Goan outfit move to 19 points, five points off the top.

Khalid Aucho returned from suspension and replaced Aniston Fernandes in the only change made by Petre Gigiu for the hosts. 

On the other side, Paul Munster made three changes for the visitors as Hitova Ayemi, Souvik Das and Akash Sangwan replaced Thoiba Singh, Prateek Joshi and Moinuddin Khan.

It was a listless first half with Dawda Ceesay the first to test Minerva goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy in the fifth minute. Gigiu chose to make an early change and introduced Israil Gurung to boost the wing play.

Munster, too, went for a change in tactics as he brought in Yu Kuboki but that didn't change the flow of the game as the half-time scoreline read 0-0.

Churchill brought on Wolfe came in place of an off-colour Nicholas Fernandes at half-time break the deadlock. And the tactic started to pay dividends as Wolfe almost found the net with a diving header. 

Immediately afterwards, Wolfe took advantage of a slip by Roy after the Minerva custodian failed to latch on to Nenad Novakovic's long ball and slotted it home.

Minutes later, a bit of drama followed with the flood lights going off for about seven minutes before play resumed.

In the 84th minute of regulation time, Wolfe would go on to complete his brace from the penalty spot after earning one himself after being pushed in the back by Jorge Caicedo.

It was surprising to see only five minutes added on to regulation despite a couple of injuries eating up time besides the seven minutes of stoppage when the lights had gone out.

Churchill will face Gokulam Kerala next at home while Minerva have an away trip to Mohun Bagan as they remain seventh with 13 points from as many games.

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