Churchill come second, Dempo retains title

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Margao, Feb 23 (UNI) Riding on a fine brace by Nigerian Odafe Okolie, Churchill Brothers humbled Air India, Mumbai 3-0 and had to be content with the runners up position in the concluding round of the ONGC I-League championship match, played here at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda today.

As Dempo defeated Viva Kerala 4-1 in another match at Calicut in Kerala, both Churchill and Dempo were tied with 36 points each from 18 outings but, on better goal difference Dempo retained the title.

Dempo received by Rs 50 lakh, while Churchill Brothers pocketed Rs 28 lakh.

Churhill's Odafe Okolie, who is the highest goal scorer with 22 goals, won the golden boot award and a cash prize of Rs 50,000.

For Churchill, the three goals came through Odafe Okolie in the 29th and 60th minute and D Raju in the 50th minute.

The match did not rise upto expectations as Churchill, who needed to win the match in a big way, took some time to settle down.

The home team had a chance to increase the lead in the 19th minute when Lalthamala Robert initiated a move and gave a pass to ace striker Odafe, whose header missed the target. In the next minute, Mboyo Iyomi from the right flank dribbled past a couple of rival defenders and gave a pass to better placed Ogba Kalu, who wasted the chance.

Churchill managed to move ahead in the 29th minute through Odafe, who after collecting a pass from D Raju unleashed a shot which was blocked by Air India goalkeeper E C Sarath but the ball went back to Odafe, who shot it into the net to take the score to 1-0.

After the cross over, Churchill played with renewed vigour and consolidated their lead in the 50th minute through D Raju off a well measured pass from Odafe.

Inspired by the two goals, Churchill continued to attack and further increased their lead in the 60th minute through Odafe to make it 3-0.

Churchill's defender Gouramangi Singh was adjudged the man of the match.

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