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League champions start with a stutter

sports Updated: Sep 02, 2009 23:31 IST
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I-League champions Churchill Brothers got off to an ordinary start in their IFA Shield campaign against Mohammedan Sporting. At the Mohun Bagan ground on Wednesday, Churchill Brothers's only strategy of routing all attacks through skipper Okolie Odafe was tackled well by a packed defence.

Mohammedan Sporting, who missed coach Shabir Ali on the bench, could have gone on to win the match had Dipendu Biswas managed to capitalise on a clear chance he missed.

The veteran, diagnosed with cardiac hypertrophy four years ago got Mohammedan Sporting's equaliser on the half-hour mark with a header after a centre from Peter Odafe. Unmarked, he jumped high between the two central defenders and the header hit the inside of the framework and went in. That goal and the one with which Chruchill Brothers went into the lead just three minutes earlier, were two of the only four clear chances either team created in the match.

With coach Ali away in Mumbai on personal work, Mohammedan Sporting optedto go in with three central defenders. Peter was the mopper and Anupam Sarkar and Amrit Pal Singh marked Okolie.

Churchill Brothers have to beat Lajong FC by two goals on Friday to qualify for semifinal.