Panaji: Churchill Brothers FC Goa registered a 2-0 win over Panjim Footballers in the Goa Football Assocition Goa Professional League at Rosary ground, Navelim, on Tuesday.
Clencio Pinto (31’) and second half substitute Willis Plaza (86’) scored for the Red Machines. Both the goals came through set pieces.
Panjim Footballers started brightly and used their left flank for constant raids through Lokeshkumar, whose aerial deliveries created trouble for the rivals, but not as much as goalscoring opportunities.
Churchill Brothers nearly took the lead when Zama’s freekick inside the box, was missed by everyone including the Panjim keeper Preston, which bounced and hit the crossbar and the rebound shot came straight to Meldon Silva, who should have done better with his attempt as his shot too, from inside the six-yard box, hit the post and came back in the play. This was the first real chance in the game.
Churchill Brothers’ foreign recruit Kalif Alhassan was instrumental in initiating the move and commanding the play in the midfield. Just before the half hour mark, Churchill Brothers’ Kalif Alhassan initiated a good move when he controlled the ball in the midfield and set up Savelon Cardozo, who then squared to Clencio Pinto but the former Salgaocar Fc striker’s shot was brilliantly saved by Panjim’s Preston Rego.
Churchill Brothers’ Zama was unlucky once again as his 40-yard freekick hit the crossbar and went out of play. This was Churchill Brothers’ third shot within first 30 minutes to be denied by the woodwork.
Finally in the 31st minute, Clencio finally put Churchill Brothers ahead in the game when he scored from a goalmouth melee after Panjim Footballers players failed to deal with another Zama freekick, which was headed inside the box by Alhassan and the loose was spotted into the net by Clencio, 1-0.
In the second half, the teams were restricted to midfield battler for initial stages. However, Churchill Brothers came close to double the account from a Zama’s corner which was pushed towards the goal by Wendel Coelho, but his effort narrowly missed the mark.
Panjim Footballers, though having no experienced players in their ranks, played a tough game and gave a good fight to the Red Machines but lacked creativity upfront. Panjim Footballers had a golden opportunity to level terms when Janio had an open header missed from a freekick. This was the closest they came to scoring in the second session. In the 86th minute, Plaza scored Churchill Brothers’ second when he guided in a Israel Gurung freekick to double the lead, 2-0.