In the second group-B league at Siliguri, Churchill Brother gave Mohun Bagan a lesson in attacking football but the latter managed to escape with a goalless draw.
Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya made three spectacular saves to keep the scoreline safe. Churchill would also count itself unlucky for being disallowed a goal in the 79th minute – the only time the Goa giant could beat the Mohun Bagan custodian.
Churchill Brothers worked on fitness and speed and put Mohun Bagan on the mat for the greater part of the first 25 minutes. The action riveted round the fine sense of opportunism showed by Churchill’s Nigerian striker Henry Antchouet, who breached the Bagan defence on three occasions. Henry’s two attempts in 10th and 26th minutes were brilliantly blocked by Arindam while the forward failed to time his third attempt (18th minute) properly.
Mohun Bagan briefly came back into the action launching two quick attacks off its multi-million acquisition Okolie Odafa. The Nigerian striker began the team’s turnaround with a solo effort in the 27th minute before releasing midfield colleague Jewel Raja with nice flick in the 30th minute. Odafa’s first attempt went over while Jewel Raja saw his sharp right-footer coming off the cross piece.
The first half blitz continued further but the goal failed to mature as both Tomba Singh (Churchill) and Tolgay Ozbey failed to produce the desired finish. Churchill continued to dominate after the break and found the net in the 79th minute off a Tomba Singh freekick. But referee Santosh Kumar (Kerala) pulled up Churchill Brothers striker Alberto Mendes Silva for infringement and disallowed the goal.
(AIFF Press Release)
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