Sporting holds Churchill brothers to 1-1 draw

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Margao, Feb 16 (UNI) A spirited Sporting club de Goa shocked title aspirant Churchill Brothers by forcing a 1-1 draw in the penultimate round of the ONGC I League championship match played here at the Nehru stadium, Fatorda.

Though Churchill top the table with 33 points from 17 outings, Dempo with 32 points from 16 outings take on bottom placed Salgaocar in the penultimate round tomorrow at the same venue.

Churchill will play their last match against Air India on home ground on February 23.

Odafa Okolie scored for Churchill Brothers in the 15th minute of the first half while substitute Freddy Mascarehas equalised the score in the 71st minute for Sporting.

Churchill got off to an aggressive start with the mid field and strikers constantly threatening the sporting goal with their first move as early as in the seventh minute of the first half when Sporting goalkeeper Felix D'Souza saved a Khaitang Paite shot off a move by Zenith Genius. Five minutes later he brought off another smart save clearing Odafa Okolie's powerpacked header following a throw in by Naoba Singh.

Churchill shot into the lead in the 15th minute through Odafa Okolie, who neatly headed in a floater from the left flank by Reisangmi Vasum.

Crossing over, Sporting played with a renewed vigour and had a chance to equalise in the 63rd minute when Joseph Pereira initiated a move and pass to Adjei Lawrence whose hasty shot sailed over the bar.

Churchill could have increased their lead in the 65th minute but Odafa missed the mark narrowly.

Sporting had a chance to equalise in the 70th minute when Joseph Pereira after collecting a pass from Bisheshwar Singh unleashed a wild kick when he was to beat the rival goalkeeper only from close range.

However, within a minute the team restored the parity through substitute Freddy Mascarehas, who came in place of Junior Elijah, and saw his 30 yarder curling into the nets to make it 1-1.

Inspired by an equaliser, Sporting made some desperate attempts for the match winner in the last 15 minutes giving several anxious moments to Churchill, however Churchill's defence thwarted the rival all moves.

Sporting Medio Chinta Chandrashekar was later adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance Sporting increased their points to 18 from 17 outings and will play their last round match against East Bengal on February 23.

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