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Churchill held by HASC
February 22, 2007 21:01 IST
A superb 70th minute goal by Robert Lalthlamvana helped Churchill Brothers force a 1-1 draw against Hindustan Aeroneutics Sports Club (HASC) in the sixth round of the National Football league, for the ONGC Cup, in Bangalore on Thursday.
With luck favouring them, the local Super League champions opened the account in the first minute through a self goal by Churchill striker Roque Barreto, who sent the ball into his own net while trying to thwart HASC captain Xavier Vijay Kumar.
The Bangalore side led 1-0 at the breather, but were under pressure in the second session as the Goa team fought hard for the equaliser. The change over altered the pattern of the game with the visitors going into attack mode. Taking full advantage of free-kick, an agile Lalthlamvana restored parity, netting the ball that ricocheted off the HASC wall.
The free-kick was awarded by referee P Bhasker of Tamil Nadu as Xavier and Kuttimani tripped Nigerian striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie.
Churchill had themselves to blame for not scoring in the first half itself as their young bunch failed miserably with their finish. Okolie, in particular, missed a couple of sitters due to his erratic strikes that flew all over.
Even the inclusion of two substitutes, Drupesh Dessai and Savio Monteiro, in the second half could not help the Goans get another goal.
HAL custodian Balaji, who was adjudged 'player of the match' showed superb skills in thwarting attempts by the visitors. He did particularly well in the 80th minute when Nigerian striker Nicholas Muyoti sent a sizzler off Roque's pass.
With this draw, HASC took its tally to six from as many matches, with one win and three draws, while Churchill Brothers have seven points from one win and four draws.