Churchill Bros taste defeat, Bagan make good use of home match

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Kolkata, Nov 9 (UNI) A classic ball control and quality finish from P C Lalwmpuiya inside 14 minutes earned Mohun Bagan a vital 1-0 win over favourites Churchill Brothers, who tasted first defeat in this edition of Indian League at Yuba Bharati Krirangan here today.

Goal machine Odafa Okolie and striker Felix were clueless before a barrage of defensive human wall, which was erected by Mohun Bagan even though the Brothers held the ball almost three-fourth time in the second half on rivals goalmouth.

Newly recruited shaven-headed Brazilian Marcos Pereirra played like blood-sucker at the feet of Okolie and Dipak Mondol sticking to Felix were the key for Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa to make the difference between the two sides. And the report would not complete if words were not spoken or written about Peter Odafe, Bagan stopper back, who stood above all in the 90 minutes thrilling game.

Stocky Lalwmpuiya, who was spearheading Bagan attacks initially, held his breath to trap ball when Man-of-the-Match Marcos sent a long aerial pass from his territory and the former's clinical right footer defeated Arindam Bhattacharjee in the 14th minute.

This was 27th meeting between the rivals in which Bagan won ten times and Churchill Brotehrs's four.

Today's win put Mohun Bagan to nine points from seven games, as many as JCT and East Bengal, and Churchill remained with 12 points, also from seven games, but tested first defeat in this edition.

The visitors were unlucky not to get goals on two occasions in either side as N S Manju made goalline savings on both the times.

First shot was from Wasum and next came from Odafa Okolie.

Coach Zoran Djordsevic was seen moving on the sideline restlessly after coming from dugout but his advices during the course of play did not help as frotliners were eratic in taking shots.

Without Jose Barreto Bagan's frontliners were looked stingless barring a classical first half goal against the play and Baichung Bhutia was looking like a spent horse. Piuya was all along in the frontline and occassionally supported by Kashimiri medio Sk Isfaq Ahmed, who on two occasion cracked Churchill defence but could not finish.

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