I-League 2017: East Bengal 3-2 Churchill Brothers- Plaza wins it for The Reds and Golds in added time
Willis Plaza found the net twice for the Khalid Jamil-led side, with the second goal coming off in the dying moments which sealed full points..

East Bengal beat Churchill Brothers 3-2 in their fourth match of I-League on Saturday, December 16th, thanks to a brace from Willis Plaza. The Trinidad and Tobago striker scored the winning goal just seconds before the full-time whistle to confirm full three points for his team.

Both sides lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with the hosts opting to go ahead with the same squad which defeated Shillong Lajong 5-1 last week. On the other hand, the visiting side made one change from the side that bowed down to Aizawl FC three days back as Kalu Ogba replaced Joshuah Vaz in the attack, thereby making his comeback for The Red Machines.

The match got off to an entertaining start as the crowd witnessed two goals within a minute. First, Peter Oghenebrorhien Omoduemuke opened the account for the Goan outfit as Israil Gurung assisted the Nigerian. It was Peter who entered the East Bengal box with Gurung from the left-side, flicking the ball for him. Peter made no mistake in slotting the ball into the goal, from the centre of the box.

The visitors’ lead didn’t last too long as Laldanmawia Ralte levelled things for Khalid Jamil’s side. As Katsumi passed the ball to Plaza, the latter sent the ball through to Laldanmawia, from outside the box. Ralte made the run into the box, going past the Churchill Brothers defence, to safely find the back of the net.

Katsumi Yusa’s brilliance continued as he set up the second goal for The Reds and Golds. Just moments before the half-time whistle, Katsumi's cross from the left-side of the box found the head of Plaza who jumped just at the right time to register his name on the score-sheet. This meant that the hosts walked off at the half-time whistle with a one-goal lead. 

With a cushion of a goal, East Bengal started the second half with an attacking approach. Willis Plaza, who was criticised heavily for not scoring, looked confident with the ball. Somewhat against the run of play, Churchill Brothers equalised in the 59th minute. Monday Osagie sent a long ball inside the East Bengal penalty box. Nicholas Fernandes met the ball as Prakash Sarkar failed to intercept. Fernandes lobbed the ball which beat Mirshad and went inside the goal.

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East Bengal could have scored at least four more goals but Churchill Brothers custodian James Kithan single-handedly denied the home team. He was deservingly given the man of the match award.

Khalid Jamil went all guns blazing at the dying moments of the match. He introduced Charles D'Souza, Brandon Vanlalremdika and Mohammed Rafique into the game in hope of a third goal.

Just seconds before the full-time whistle, Plaza headed in the third goal from Katsumi Yusa's corner to seal a victory for the Red and Golds.

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