Churchill defeats Mahindra 2-1, avenges defeat in Durand Cup

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Margao, Sep 27 (UNI) Powered by a splendid brace by Nigerian Odafe Okolie, formidable Churchill Brothers registered a 2-1 win over Durand Cup Champions Mahinara United (Mumbai) in their first round of the ONGC I-League Footall championship tie being played here at Nehru stadium Fatorda today.

The match came to life only in the second half when three goals were scored. Odafe Okolie scored for Churchill in the 61st and 87th minute. While Substitute Sunil Kumar scored for Mahindra in the 82nd minute.

Churchill thus avenged the defeat they suffered in the Durand Cup final against Mahindra.

Earlier, the barren first half was restricted to the midfield for the major part, in which Chruchill had an edged with better share of exchanges and their Nigerian prolific forward Odafe Okolie who enjoyed major share of the ball came with a good move in the 16th minute from the left flank and after dodging past rival defender D Ravanan could have easily beat the goalkeeper but his tendency to hold on the ball uncessary instead of parting it to a better placed colleague, did more harm to his team than good.

Mahindra too came up with dangerous move in the 21st minute with move initiated by Douhou Pieree who back pass to better placed Sushant Mathew whose powerpacked 30 yarder long ranged shot was beautifully saved by rival Goalkeer Arindan Bhattacharya.

Churchill's defence manned by L Robert, Govin and Gouramangi Singh stood like a rock and blocked all their rival's moves in the first half.

Mahindra's midfield looked shaky in the opening session.

After barren first half, Churchill regrouped themselves well and shot into the lead in the 61st Minute through Odafe Okolie who dribbling past rival defender Justin Stephen, controlled the ball well and neatly placed into the net. Odafe made amends for his earlier lapse.

Stung by the debacle, Mahindra accelerated the pace of their game and restored the parity in the 82nd through substitute Sushil Kumar, who came in place of Mohammad Rafi, had perfectly headed in off a free kick pass from Douhou Pieree to make it 1-1.

Churchill increased their lead in the 87th minute through Odafe Okolie whose fullblooded 30 yarder shot banged into the rival net to make it 2-1 and gain full three points.

Churchill Defender Govin Singh was today adjdudged the man of the match for his fine performance.

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