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I-League

Indian Arrows slay giants Churchill Brothers to pick first win of the season

7:40 PM GMT+4 28/12/2019
Churchill Brothers Indian Arrows I-League 2019-20
The Red Machines failed to impress as the Indian youngsters rose from the bottom spot

The Indian Arrows came from behind to defeat Churchill Brothers 2-1 in an I-League 2019-20 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa, on Saturday evening.

Radanfah Abu Bakr's (42') first half lead was overturned by Moirangthem Givson Singh (78') and subsitute Telem Suranjit Singh (90') in the second half.

A fortnight after Churchill's 4-2 win over Mohun Bagan, Bernardo Tavares made three changes to bring in goalkeeper James Kithan in place of Jafar Mondal other than Israil Gurung and Lalengzama Vangchhia replacing Dawda Ceesay and Glan Martins.

On the other hand, Arrows' coach Shanmugam Venkatesh rang in four changes from his side that lost 1-0 against Punjab FC. Lalbiakhlua Jongte stood in goal instead of Samik Mitra while Suraj Rawat, Aman Chetri, Harpreet Singh made way for Manvir Singh, Ayush Adhikari and RV Hormipam.

The Arrows showed energy in the opening minutes as Vikram Pratap Singh forced an early save from Kithan before Churchill Brothers created their first chance wherein Willis Plaza shot wide off Vinil Poojary's cross from the left in the 11th minute.

Minutes later, Lalkhawpuimawia was denied by a goalline save by rival defender Hormipam after Plaza laid it off for his team-mate ahead of the onrushing Arrows goalkeeper.

Other than a tame shot at goal by Plaza, Churchill nearly pulled ahead at the half-hour mark but Abu Bakr wasn't able to intercept a defensive clearance from the nearpost of Robert Primus's cross from the right.

Abu Bakr then rose highest to head in a Gurung corner in the 42nd minute that was a result of Jongte's thwarting save off Poojary's header from a delivery by Kalif Alhassan.

Crossing over, Plaza almost made a meal of a mispass by substitute Chetri at the back but for a good cover by Manvir to save his side's blushes.

Meanwhlie, the Arrows' persistence finally paid off as Chetri made his way to the right of the box to cut back a pass to Givson who blasted the ball at the back of the net in the 78th minute.

A couple of Plaza's missed chances from the six yards box eventually proved costly for the hosts as Suranjit took advantage of a miscommunication between Robert Primus and Kithan to slot in the winner in the final minute of regulation time.

Come injury time, Abu Bakr could have still salvaged a point but placed his shot from the box right into the hands of Jongte while Chetri saw his effort come off the upright at the other end.