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Onyenka Okolie guides Churchill to victory
March 08, 2007 20:28 IST
Down by a goal at half-time, Churchill Brothers came back strongly in the second period to outsmart Mohammedan Sporting 3-1 in their National Football League encounter at the Nehru stadium in Margao, Goa, on Thursday.
Churchill's man of the match Onyenka Okolie cancelled Subhasis Roy Chowdhury's first half strike and added a second goal in the 65th minute before George Ekeh made sure of the three points in the 89th minute.
It was Churchill's second victory in the league and took their tally to 10 points from eight matches. Mohammedan Sporting have six points from eight matches.
Churchill started off well, keeping their opponents under pressure in the initial stages. They should have forged ahead in the 10th minute but Drupesh Dessai's shot hit the cross bar after a combined move between Odafe and George Ekeh.
After this close shave, Mohammedan Sporting took the lead in the 18th minute, against the run of play. Jatin Singh Bist, who took the flag kick from the left, directed the ball to Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, who was left unmarked inside the box. The later essayed a half volley that found the roof of the net.
Churchill did not lose heart and kept attacking. They were unlucky again in the second-half when Raju D's shot hit the cross bar in the 55th minute. However, they restored parity in the 62nd minute when Okalie beat goalkeeper Gopal Das with a stiff grounder from the top of the box off Raju D's pass.
The goal spurred the Goa team and Sporting were under pressure. Okolie, who was the live
wire upfront again struck three minutes later when he headed home a flag-kick taken by Raju D to put Churchill in the lead.
Mohammedan Sporting's Belwe Mputu, MD Nisam and Robart Lalthlamvan of Churchill Bros were shown yellow cards by referee P Bhaskar.
With Churchill Bros doing most on the attacking in the second-half, Mohammedan Sporting, who came up with counter moves, had the best chance in the closing stage but substitute Raman Vijayan, who was left unmarked, failed to cash in as he shot out from close following a cross by substitute Surojit Roy.
Churchill then sealed the fate of Sporting when George Ekeh scored five minutes before time off a solo effort.