Former champions Mohan Bagan rallied from behind to beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 in the fourth round of the 9th National Football League in Margao on Saturday.
Bagan's Brazilian striker Robeto Mendes Silva scored the winner after substitute Sunil Chetri canceled Yusif Yakubu's strike in the first half.
With this win, Bagan have collected seven points from four matches while Churchill, who suffered their third defeat, have one point from four matches.
Defender Eduardo Chacon of Bagan was declared the man of the match.
Churchill, knowing well that any slip up would further dent their morale played with determination.
Vanlal Rova, who played his first match, was a perfect foil for Yakubu as they troubled the rival defence, took lead in the 19th minute.
A combined move between Vanlal Rova and Roque Baretto from the middle which the latter put a forward pass that deflected rival defender and fell on the path of Yusif Yakubu who uncorked a right-footer that found the far end of the net to end his goal drought.
Bagan, unperturbed by the set back regrouped and were all over the rival half but found stiff resistance from the defenders who thwarted their moves. Roberto Mendes Silva had two chances to equalise but first his try was well saved by keeper Vinay Singh and later his header went over the bar.
The change of ends saw Bagan pressing more men in the attack as they brought in Sunil Chetri three minutes before the interval in place of Medio Jerry Zirsanga and was rewarded in the 51st minute when Sunil Chetri headed in a free kick taken by Dharam Jit Singh from the right.
The goal enlivened the proceeding as both went into the attack. Bagan looked more menacing nearly took the lead five minutes later when Roberto Mendes' try off Noel Wilson's flag kick was saved on the goal line by Godwin Franco.
Churchill bought in I M Vijayan in the closing stage in place of defender Sanjay Parte to break the dead lock but failed to guard their goal and Bagan punished them as Mehtab Hussein who found space on the left laid a pass to Roberto Mendes who controlled the ball before beating keeper Singh with a placement. Even as keeper got his hand to the ball he was not able to put the ball out of danger.
Churchill went all out in the closing stage but their inability to convert chances caused their downfall. Yakubu failed to capitalise on two opportunities and then Vanlal Rova missed a sitter off a pass by I M Vijayan.
Expressing happiness with the teams performance especially in the second half, Bagan coach Subrata said, "We were down by one goal but rose to win the match. Roberto's goal was brilliant and it will lift the morale of the team and keep us in good stead to play against Dempo in our next match".
"We have almost finalised a deal to bring in defender Daba Lade from Nigeria who played for Nigeria in 1998 France World Cup", he added.
On the other hand, Churchill's coach Shabir Ali was disappointed with his team's performance that failed to convert chances and conceded silly goals.
The performances of the team have to be accessed with the team management, as it is the question of my reputation, Ali said.