I-League: Churchill prove too strong for Prayag

I-League: Churchill prove too strong for PrayagMadgaon: Brazilian striker Roberto Mendes da Silva struck two delightful goals as Churchill Brothers demolished Prayag United 5-2 in the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Sunday (April 1).

The Brazilian striker’s wonderful goals were the highlight in the team’s win and helped the team overtake Prayag United with 38 points. Churchill have a match in hand against Pailan Arrows and this win should help them make considerable progress, although there still remains a huge gap between them and leaders Dempo Sports Club (47 points).

Prayag stay on 37 points.

Beto scored the first two goals for Churchill while an own goal by Sukhen Dey only added to Prayag’s misery in the first half which ended 3-1 after Yakubu Yusif had pulled a goal back.

In the second session, Henri Autchouet and Lalrindika Ralte added their names to the scoresheet while substitute striker Josimar Martins capitalised on a defensive lapse to help Prayag reduce the margin.

Prayag allowed Churchill Brothers to take charge immediately after the kick-off. A couple of chances went abegging at the start for the hosts but Beto drew first blood when he came up with a nice header to finish off a cross from Denzil Franco in the 21st minute.

Beto made it 2-0 when a quick counter saw Lenny Rodrigues and Henri interchange before Beto did the rest with a left-footed grounder from just outside the box.

Yakubu briefly provided hope for Prayag with a smart goal in the 43rd minute but an own goal from Sukhen – while trying to obstruct Henri – shut doors on a comeback.

In the second half, Henri finally scored his first goal when he got at the right end of a measured cross from Steven Dias to push the ball past the outstretched hands of Prayag goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal.’

Lalrindika Ralte made it 5-1 when his left footer found the top corner of the net.

Prayag’s only other goal came in the 80th minute when Australian defender Antun Kovacic and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya were involved in a horrendous mix-up which allowed Josimar an easy passage to score a goal.