Churchill Brothers turned in a solid display to demolish ONGC 5-0 in second round match of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, in Fatorda, Goa, on Thursday.
The home side had suffered a setback in the opening match, where, despite dominating, they still ended 1-2 losers against defending champions Dempo. But, on Thursday, the favourites lived up to their top billing as Lebanese striker Akram Moghrabi scored a hat-trick that left the visitors bleeding.
Brazilian striker Roberto Mendes da Silva and Lebanon defender Bilal N also added their names to the scorers' list.
Churchill were favoured to win this clash but nobody expected them to win so easily, especially against a team that had caused considerable problems to Pune FC in their opening match.
Akram was the hero right from the start as he opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Steven Dias's corner saw the Lebanon striker leap impressively to head the ball past the ONGC goalkeeper.
Roberto made it 2-0 when he converted a rebound after the ONGC goalkeeper had kept out Akram's header from close range.
Akram got his second and the team's third goal just two minutes later when Dias turned provider again from a corner kick.
Any thoughts that Churchill Brothers would take their feet off the accelerator were wiped away when Bilal added his name to the score sheet, this time Roberto turning the provider with a measured ball.
Akram completed his hat-trick and capped a fine evening when he scored a stunning shot. He collected the ball from just outside the box and dispatched a long ranger that dipped viciously into the far corner of the net.
The second session saw Churchill Brothers create more chances but no more goals.
Pune FC win thriller against Mumbai FC
Pune: Nishiguchi Daisuke, who until recently played in the Moldovan league, scored a brace and set up the winner as Pune FC defeated Mumbai FC 3-2 to win the home Maharashtra Derby at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
Daisuke scored on either side of the half after Mumbai FC had taken the initiative and the half-time lead to leave home team scurrying before the parity was restored.
Daisuke was again in the middle of action when he moved up from the right before sending a cross for Jeje Lalpekhlua to score the winner in the 71st minute.
The win boosted Pune FC's tally to six points from two matches, while Mumbai FC slumped to their second straight loss.
East Bengal strike late to beat United Sikkim
Gangtok: Last year's runners-up East Bengal rode on?Lalrindika Ralte's late second-half strike?to beat United Sikkim 1-0?in another round two fixture.
The Bhaichung Bhutia-owned side put up a valiant fight to hold the Federation Cup winners goalless in the first-half that saw East Bengal come close to scoring a few times.
But East Bengal made amends in the second-half, as Ralte scored the winner through a free-kick in the 82nd minute for their first win in the league this season.
Ralte's shot from the left of the penalty box took the deflection off Budhiram Tudu and entered the United Sikkim net.
East Bengal, who were held by Sporting Clube de Goa in their first round fixture, now have three points from two matches, the same as Sikkim, who beat Salgaocar in?their first round match.
Arrows beat Air India, post second win
Kolkata: Pailan Arrows defeated Air India 2-1 to register their second consecutive victory in the league.
The spirited Holicharan Narzary was?again in his elements, at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan. He fired the Arrows ahead in the 42nd minute, but the airmen equalised in the 66th minute through their Nigerian recruit, Henry Ezeh.
However, two minutes later, Arrows scored what turned out to be the match-winner through Milan Singh, who gleefully converted a spot-kick after Alwyn George was brought down inside the Air India box.
This was Air India's?second successive defeat, after losing 1-5 to a 10-man United SC.