Odafe keeps Churchill in race
Churchill Brothers delayed the inevitable when they thrashed Mohun Bagan 4-0 in Margao on Friday. Churchill Brothers moved up to 38 points from 22 matches. The win kept alive the defending champions’ chances of an unlikely retention of the I-League.
But for that to happen they have to win the remaining four matches and hope leaders Dempo lose their next two matches by a big margin.
Dempo, on 50 points, can seal their title win even if they draw Lajong FC at Shillong on Sunday.
Churchill Brothers skipper Okolie Odafe scored a brace, while Felix Chimaokwu and Ogba Kalu netted a goal each. Churchill Brothers started aggressively and after missing a close chance went ahead in the 20th minute.
Midfielder Kalu relayed the ball to Odafe who slalomed past a couple of defenders to essay a shot that took a deflection off defender N.S Manju and caught goalkeeper Shilton Paul on the wrong foot to find the net.
Odafe and Felix combined well upfront and the opposition defence was caught napping.
Churchill increased the lead in the 26th minute when Kalu put a through pass to Felix who took a defender in his stride and unleashed a stiff grounder.
Kalu came to the party when he headed home the ball off a flag kick taken by Lalindrika from the right in the 31st minute. Mohun Bagan regrouped, but poor finishing by forwards Jose Barreto and Edeh Chidi let them down. Churchill keeper Arindam Bhattacharya nearly conceded twice but luck eluded Mohun Bagan.
After the breather, Churchill Brothers sealed the result when Odafe scored off Felix’s shot that had deflected off Deepak Mondal’s leg.