Odafa nets a brace in victory over Churchill | sports | Hindustan Times
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Odafa nets a brace in victory over Churchill

If defending champs Churchill Brothers thought they would have an easy outing against minnows Madras Engineering Group (MEG), Bangalore, in the opening match of the quarter-final league of the 2010 edition, they were in for quite a surprise.

sports Updated: Oct 28, 2010 00:35 IST
Tomojit Basu

If defending champs Churchill Brothers thought they would have an easy outing against minnows Madras Engineering Group (MEG), Bangalore, in the opening match of the quarter-final league of the 2010 edition, they were in for quite a surprise. Despite scoring three early goals within the first 16 minutes, the Goa club had to tread a nervous road before overcoming their callow opponents 4-2.

Prized striker Okolie Odafa put Churchill ahead in the second minute when he headed in an Israil Gurung corner. Churchill Brothers widened the gap in the 10th minute with Bineesh Balan scoring off a sublime cross from outside the box by Zakeer MP.

However, MEG pulled one back just two minutes later. A cross from V. Ramu took a few knocks inside the Churchill Brothers 18-yard box and was driven in by Lokeshwar Singh, much to the delight of the handful yet passionate crowd here.

However, fate deemed otherwise for the Bangalore side as custodian Sujith V fumbled to clear Churchill right-back Hardeep Singh's long-ranger from the half line in the 16th minute.

Odafa used his physical edge to the fullest, and some exquisite dribbling saw him break into the MEG box on a few occasions but he failed to finish every time.

On the other end, the diminutive Gurangi Lal and Lokeshwar troubled the Churchill defence. The barrage of forays paid off in the 26th minute when Jiten Metaei's accurate cross was tapped in by Lokeshwar.

A majority of Churchill's attacks came through some sterling passes delivered by Zakeer and Israil in central midfield to set up opportunities for Emako and Okoli.

The fourth goal came in the 80th minute, when Churchill's new Cameroonian recruit Ernest Emako was brought down by MEG defender Sujith in the penalty area and led to a straight red from referee Mohammed Kamil. The burly Nigerian converted with ease.

He nearly got a hattrick in the dying minutes but the horizontal denied his right-footed strike from humiliating MEG any further.