I-League: Churchill Brothers gets the better of Real Kashmir

Churchill Brothers registered a 2-1 victory over Real Kashmir FC in a Hero I-League fixture at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday.

The victory takes Churchill to third in the league standings with 19 points, while Kashmir remains in seventh place with 15 points.   -  Twtter/@ILeagueOfficial

Churchill Brothers registered a 2-1 victory over Real Kashmir FC in a Hero I-League fixture at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday.

Willis Deon Plaza opened the scoring by converting a penalty before Mapuia added the second with a stunning strike. Robin Singh pulled one back for the Snow Leopards, but the first half double turned out to be enough for the hosts to walk away with three points.  

The victory takes Churchill to third in the league standings with 19 points, while Kashmir remains in seventh place with 15 points.

Churchill head coach Bernardo Tavares opted for three changes. Sukhadev Shivaji Patil donned the gloves in goal ahead of James Kithan. Quan Gomes was reinstated in midfield, with Lamgoulen Gou Hangshing also getting the nod in the 4-4-2.

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Kashmir gaffer David Robertson also reflected three changes to his XI. Brian Mascarenhas was preferred to Novin Gurung at the back. Dalraj Singh also started in defence, while Kallum Higginbotham made way for Danish Farooq upfront.

In the 10th minute, Churchill was awarded a penalty after Farhan Ganie was adjudged to have handled the ball while trying to clear a cross from Quan Gomes. Willis Plaza stepped up and made no mistake from 12-yards, sending Kashmir keeper Phurba Lachenpa the wrong way.

Ten minutes later, Mapuia latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and with a flurry of white shirts closing him down got his strike away and found the top corner in stunning fashion, doubling his side’s advantage.  

Coach Robertson was forced into making an early substitution in the 24th minute, given how the game was unfolding at this point. He opted to add some fire to his attack, bringing on Higginbotham, with Dalraj Singh making way.

The Englishman almost pulled one back before half-time, going for goal on the volley from distance but his effort skimmed across the crossbar in what would have otherwise been a spectacular goal. However, Churchill went into the break with a two-goal cushion.

Churchill’s Socrates Emanuel Adolfo Pedro was elected the hero of the match.

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