I-League: East Bengal restrict Churchill

Margaon: Churchill Brothers played a draw against East Bengal 1-1 in an I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda. Churchill Brothers had plenty of chances to grab the three points that they had been hunting for but apart from Henri Autchouet’s early goal the hosts had nothing to show. In the end, even that did not count for much as Tolgay Ozbey ensured East Bengal walked out with a point with the equalizer in the 53rd minute.

Coach Manuel Gomes opted to start with three strikers, including one on the right of midfield, giving Churchill a lot of attacking intent. It surely took East Bengal by surprise as the visitors were still coming to grips with the torrent of attacks early in the game.

One such move, led to a corner in the seventh minute which Steven Dias took beautifully and Henri finished with a smart header at the first post.

Hardly had those cheers died down, Churchill created another glorious moment but this time Lenny Rodrigues’ booming long-ranger rattled the upright and rebounded back into play.

For the remainder of the first half, the ball was mostly confined to the midfield as East Bengal seemed out of sorts and Churchill seemed content in the solitary goal lead.

In the second session, East Bengal pulled up their socks, and within eight minutes found themselves clawing their way back into the game. Incidentally, it was their first attempt on goal but the visitors didn’t mind as Tolgay headed Harmanjyot Khabra’s flick from close range.

The goal did not upset Churchill as they continued to dominate but a goal remained elusive despite several chances.

The best chances fell at the feet of Henri but the Gabonese striker twice failed to score with only the goalkeeper to beat. Mohammad Rafi also had a glorious chance but his shot from handshaking distance sailed too wide of the target.

East Bengal almost took everyone by surprise but Tolgay's left-footer struck the side post.

Henri Autchouet was declared the Man-of-the-Match.



By Indian Sports News