Churchill Brothers SC continued with their winning streak in the AFC Cup 2014 by getting the better of Singapore side Home United. This was Churchill Brothers second win in a row. Just last week the Red Machines had beaten New Radiant 3-0. The margin of victory was 3-1 this time but the attacking game on display by the team from Goa might have won them many more fans.
Right from the start of the match,the Red Machines started dominating the proceedings. In the very first minute of the match Anthony Wolfe came close to scoring for the Red Machines on two occasions but was denied by Shahril Bin Jantan, the alert Home United Goalkeeper. Churchill Brothers kept up the tempo and just when they were looking like the team to score first.
But Home United scored against the run of play and shocked Churchill Brothers. Qiu Li beat the Churchill Goalkeeper at the near post and gave his team the all-important lead in the 11th minute. Home United’s joy was short lived though as Anthony Wolfe restored parity in the 16th minute with a well-placed header off a Saran Singh cross from the right.
Churchill Brothers kept pushing Home United on the back foot and it was Raju Yumnam’s turn in the 26th minute when he scored a peach of a goal from the edge of the box.Yumnam’s shot curled into the Home United post giving no chance to their goalkeeper. The teams went out for the half time break with a 2-1 scoreline in favour of Churchill Brothers.
The story of second half was no different with Red Machines having the lion’s share of possession. Churchill launched one attack after another into the Home United box but were not able to find that elusive third goal. Almost all of the Churchill Brothers frontline players had an attempt on goal. Home United had rarely threatened the Churchill Goalkeeper, Lalit Thapa.
Then in the 90+1 minute when it was looking the match was heading for a 2-1 finish, Balwant Singh who had come on as a second substitute produced a magical goal. He dribbled passed at least four Home United players from the midfield, entered the box and coolly slotted home Churchill Brothers 3rd goal, giving no chance to the onrushing Home United Goalkeeper Shahril Bin Jantan.
Churchill Brothers coach Mariano Dias said, “We played a good game and the boys came back quickly after conceding a goal. Over all it was an impressive performance by the boys”. When asked about his team’s chances of progressing from the group he said “Its not very easy, we have to take match by match and see, AFC Cup is a tough competition and we have to keep that in mind.”
Home United coach Lee Lim Saeng said, “We scored the first goal which is always good. but after that we could not move much and lost concentration. Churchill Brothers played well and they created chances for their attackers. I can’t blame my players for this defeat as they were fatigued and the weather was also very hot here in Goa”
Churchill Brothers play their next AFC Cup match in Singapore versus Home United on April 2.