As far as attacking displays go, few Durand Cup matches would match up to the tournament's second semi-final between Churchill Brothers and Shillong Lajong this year, the fervour pervading the crowd would testify to that. The Goan club made it to its fifth Durand Cup final, whipping the North-east outfit 4-1 in a riveting tie at the Ambedkar Stadium on Thursday.
Churchill simply outclassed the newly-promoted I-League side. Playmaker Beto was regularly left with alarming amounts of space to weave his magic while Gabonese forward Henri Antchouet gave centre-backs Zohmingliana Ralte and M Subhas Singh a torrid time. With Bineesh Balan and Zakeer Mundampara's uncompromising pressing and Lenny Rodrigues helping Beto distribute, the Salcette club was well-poised to triumph almost from the start.
While ludicrous defensively, Lajong did trouble the Churchill backline, especially through midfielders Johnny Menyongar and Eugenson Lyngdoh. Their inability to effectively use numerous set-piece opportunities was disappointing.