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Churchill beat East Bengal to finish fourth

May 10, 2004 15:29 IST

Santa Singh's 75th minute goal helped Churchill Brothers beat newly crowned champions East Bengal 1-0 to finish fourth in the 8th National Football League played at Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday.

With this win, Churchill, who have concluded their league engagements, have finished with 36 points from 22 matches ensuring a fourth place finish in the final standings.

On the other hand, having already bagged the title after taking unbeatable lead, East Bengal, which was hit hard with injuries to their key players this time round, remained on 46 points from 21 matches.

After a barren first half, Churchill, who held more of the exchanges and scoring chances, especially in the second half, scored the all important goal in the 75th minute. It was a diagonal pass by Rajesh Meetei from the left to Santa Singh, who essayed an angular shot that beat keeper Sangram Mukherjee, to find the far post.

With a one man advantage in the entire second half after referee K Shankar gave East Bengal's Mike Okoro marching order in the dying minute of the first half for abusive language, Churchill could have led by a bigger margin had they utilised the chances that came their way.

Yusif Yakubu, the current leading scorer, was presented three scoring chances but was unlucky as his solo effort was thrawted by the crossbar and later defender Shasty Duley made a goal line save.

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