Churchill down AI in shootout
A burst of torrential shower, which smoothened into a nagging drizzle was the best possible setting for the first competitive match on the synthetic turf at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan. Nilankur Das reports.Updated: Sep 08, 2009, 23:36 IST
Result: Churchill Brothers 5 (1) (Vashum 76); Air India 3 (1) (Rowilson 13 og)
OK Nnanna (CB) scores (2-1)
Harpreet (AI) scores (2-2)
N Sudhakaran (CB) scores (3-2)
K Patil (AI) misses (3-2)
Gouramangi (CB) scores (4-2)
TMaity (AI) misses (4-2)
R Vashum (CB) misses (4-2)
V Shetty (AI) scores (4-3)
N Silveira (CB) scores (5-3)
Minanshu Bhattacharya (IFA)
The hundred odd that spotted the stands saw two of the country's fittest sides Churchill Brothers and Air India play a very fast-paced 120 minutes in the semifinal of the IFA Shield.
The Goa outfit won on penalties and that despite their goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya not having to make a save. Kailash Patil and Tapan Maity missed their attempts to let Churchill Brothers extend their stay here till Saturday.
That Churchill Brothers' prolific scorer Okolie Odafa badly wants to get his hands on the Shield was made rather obvious by his loud bellow in the media box where, suspended, he sat alongside his former coach now Mohun Bagan's Karim Bencherifa as Reisangmi Vashum equalised midway into the second half.
A barrage of attacks in the first session reflected by as many as nine corner kicks and close to three quarters of ball-possession had resulted in nothing. Making it worse was an own goal conceded against the run of play.
A Soccor Velho centre from the right meant for Air India's Nigerian striker N.D. Opara looped into the back of the net as central defender Rowilson Rodrigues in an attempt to clear the lines got it all wrong.
Mohun Bagan play Chirag United in the second semifinal on Wednesday.