Late goals by Dwada Ceesay (88) and Israil Gurung (90+2') handed Churchill Brothers deserving win against Indian Arrows at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Monday.
Alfred Fernandes did not make any changes to the side that defeated Shillong Lajong 2-0 on Friday. Kalu Ogba started the game despite concerns regarding his hamstring. Mechac Koffi and Dawda Ceesay were the two forwards in a 4-4-2 formation.
Luis Norton de Matos tried a 4-1-4-1 shape. Deepak Tangri replaced an injured Jeakson Singh and Abhijit Sarkar started the game as the lone striker in place of Edmund Lalrindika.
The hosts had the better of the chances in the first half. Uttam Rai curled his attempt wide before Koffi was found guilty of fluffing his shot on goal. Denechandram Meitei's long diagonal lob had beaten Anwar Ali but the striker couldn't pounce on to the golden opportunity.
Arrows failed to penetrate their opponents' defence. Boris Singh's give-and-go with Abhijit inside the box was intercepted by an alert Monday Osagie who cleared the ball and initiated a counter attack. Koffi had a chance to score from the resulting breakaway but he dragged his shot well wide.
Israil Gurung, who replaced an injured Uttam Rai who left the field clutching his hamstring, was also involved towards the end of the half with a few notable deliveries into the box from the left. One such curling cross saw Ceesay head just wide of the target.
Britto PM brilliantly dribbled past Boris and entered the box from the left in the 65th minute. His attempted pass to pick out a teammate was well cleared by Anwar Ali.
The Blue Colts had two back-to-back chances to take the lead, both involving Boris Singh. The full-back first saw his attempt fly just above the crossbar and then fed Rahul KP who forced James Kithan into a very good save to keep the scores level.
In another chance for Churchill in the 77th minute, Ceesay' perfect delivery into the box from a corner allowed Monday to send a powerful header at goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill who was in the position to keep the ball from going in.
However, there was no stopping the Red Machine and Ceesay was able to finally hand Churchill the lead in the 88th minute. Koffi's attempted shot was blocked by Anwar but the ball fell nicely for Ceesay who found the back of the net with a calm finish.
Gurung doubled the lead for the hosts when Koffi took a quick free-kick that allowed the substitute to hit the net during injury time. Late goals decided the result in a match that was dominated by the Goa-based outfit.