Explosive - that’s what the new-look Churchill Brothers side appears to be. As if having midfielder Beto in the ranks was not enough, another new recruit — Gabonese striker Henri Arnaud Antchouet — wowed the paltry audience at the Ambedkar Stadium on Saturday on the way to thrashing Army Red 5-0 in the Durand Cup.
It wasn’t just the performance in front that impressed. With Gouramangi Singh pairing up with another new face, Australian Antun Kovacic, in central defence, goalkeeper Felix d'Souza was assured of a comfortable evening.
It took just two minutes for the Salcette club to hammer in the first nail. Beto, unmarked in the box, struck home from a corner with a powerful left-footer. Eight minutes later, Steven Dias delivered a pinpoint cross from the right that Antchouet headed past Army Red custodian Rabi Kanta Singh.
Dias exploited the space on the right again in the 17th minute with a low delivery that was finished coolly by Bineesh Balan.
Balan scored again in the 38th minute after Antchouet did the hard work of picking up a Raju Yamnam pass a little beyond the half-line and beating TL Kuki and Lalming Sangha before being denied by the post. Balan scored when the ball fell to his right foot after a tussle in the box.
Antchouet rounded off the massacre in the 43rd minute, scoring from delightful through-ball from Lenny Rodrigues.
After the breather, Churchill threatened but despite repeated chances to further the lead, were somehow contained by the more defensive opposition whose campaign came to an end.
Air India fly high
Air India beat ONGC 3-0. Soccor Velho's 36th minute strike with a Henry Ezeh brace put the Mumbai team in contention for a semis spot unless Pune FC beat ONGC by more than three goals on Monday.