Margao: Hero I-League debutants TRAU FC continued with their winning run today, defeating third-placed Churchill Brothers FC Goa 2-1 on Sunday at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao.
The visitors, who played the better game, made the most of their scoring opportunities and won their third consecutive game. TRAU FC drew first blood in the 15th minute through a Gerard Williams header.
Churchill Brothers FC Goa restored parity in the 30th minute through Abu Bakr’s header from a corner set-piece but the hosts lost their lead due to an own goal through custodian Jafar Mondal’s faulty clearance -- resulting in TRAU FC walking away with a precious three points.
TRAU’s Gerrard Williams was adjudged the Hero of the Match. With three consecutive wins on the run TRAU FC are now placed eighth with 11 points from eight games, while Churchill Brothers FC Goa remain third with 10 points from six games.
Playing their second game in Goa within seven days, TRAU FC, riding on a four-game unbeaten run, started on an attacking note as expected. The Hero I-League debutants pressed hard from the first minute and earned a corner within the first 20 seconds but failed to make the most from the opportunity. Hosts Churchill Brothers FC Goa, however, held on to their post and looked disorganised as it was the visitors who were seen controlling the game.
TRAU, who made no mistakes in making their intentions clear took a second attempt and on target, this time in the third minute but a good save from Churchill’s Jaffar Mondal ensured the hosts weren’t embarrassed early in the game.
The visitors, however, did not give up and their attacking line of Naocha, Emeka and Krishnanada kept the Churchill defence on their toes at regular intervals. TRAU’s constant efforts soon resulted in the visitors drawing first blood in the 15th minute. A short corner followed by a cross to the far post by TRAU’s Meitei saw Gerrard Williams make no mistake in finding the back of the net through a close-range effort, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
Rattled by TRAU’s early lead, Churchill Brothers tried making a comeback but their efforts were dissuaded by a disciplined defence line of the visitors. They increased the pace of their attack from the 20th minute onwards and now looked more organised. The hosts restored parity in the 30th minute when an error from TRAU’s Mithun Samanta let the ball roll into the goal from a header from Abu Bakar from a corner.
The game thereafter was a mix of efforts from both ends but it was the visitors who ruled the pitch in the first half that came to an end with the scoreline reading 1-1.
The second half started with TRAU again pressing hard to take a lead. Their efforts soon yielded results but because of a glaring error from Churchill’s goalkeeper Jafar Mondal who in an effort to clear the ball from a Meitei corner kick, ended up punching the ball inside his own goal. This mix-up saw the visitors earning a much needed 2-1 lead in the 54th minute.
The game thereafter saw TRAU leading most of the attack while the hosts seemed helpless in their attempts to earn an equaliser. The TRAU defence played a key role today clipping Churchill’s Willis Plaza and not giving him one clear opportunity in the whole game to make an attempt to score.
The Manipuri side kept on with their efforts to increase their lead but couldn’t convert any more chances that came their way. The game came to an end with the debutants continuing with their winning run and earning a valuable three points defeating Churchill Brothers FC Goa 2-1.