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Mohun Bagan rally to hold Churchill
March 24, 2007 19:17 IST
Churchill Brothers failed to hold on to a first half lead and finished 1-1 with Mohun Bagan in a National Football League match in Kolkata on Saturday.
Churchill shot into the lead in the 42nd minute through Vanlal Rova, who showed fine opportunism to beat Bagan custodian Sangram Mukherjee.
Bagan raised their game by several notches after the breather, with their medios coordinating well, and drew parity in the 62nd minute.
The young Lalam Puiya found the target after receiving a fine pass from Sumon Dutta and directing the ball into the net to the left of Churchill goalkeeper Binay Singh.
After nine outings, the Goans are now on 11 points, while Bagan have two less.
The first half saw a slow-paced game, and the Goans converted the only chance that came their way, while Bagan muffed up a couple of golden opportunities.
Lal Kamal Bhowmick shot over from close, after Sumon Dutta's lob went past the post, much to the dismay of the Bagan fans.
With George Ekeh being the fulcrum of their moves, the visitors had the upper hand in the opening session, with the Bagan defence looking porous.
But the script changed after the breather, as Bagan applied sustained pressure culminating in Lalam Puiya's goal.
Keyed up by the success, Bagan continued their assault in the rival half but Baichung Bhutia failed to capitalise on a Bijoy Basphore pass.
A little later, Lal Kamal Bhowmick let go a scorcher, but the ball went just over the crosspiece.
However, the locals also had a close shave in the dying minutes, when Naoba Singh found himself in the clear, with Sangram out of position. But stopper Dipak Mandal prevented his team's collapse by effecting a spectacular diving clearance.