Churchill Brothers 0
MARGAO: East Bengal moved to the top of the I-League ladder with a 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers Sports Club in a sixth round I-League encounter at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Saturday.
Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi scored a brace and Manandeep Singh added his name to the scoresheet to help East Bengal move ahead of Dempo (13 points) and Churchill Brothers (12 points).
East Bengal got an early lead when Chidi collected a nice ball from Penn Orji, worked his way past two defenders and coolly slotted the ball past Churchill goalkeeper Sandip Nandy when the match was just five minutes old.
The goal woke Churchill up from their slumber and they started to get a toe-hold in the game. Lebanese striker Akram Moghrabi was a constant threat, but with rival stopper-back Uga Okpara always on his heels, the East Bengal goal seemed well protected.
Churchill Brothers, Akram in particular, did have attempts on goal but there was no success.
The best chance of the half for the hosts was midway into the first session when Akram sent a well-measured ball across the goal but Steven Dias could not connect.
Churchill started the second half strongly but the tale of missed chances continued. Okpara once came up with a timely tackle to ward Akram’s danger, and then it was goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s turn to dive full-length to his left to keep away a stunning header from the Lebanese.
East Bengal had gone close at the other end as well. Penn Orji’s lob with the goalkeeper out of position was saved on the goalline by Denzil Franco.
East Bengal made the issue safe in the 76th minute when Manandeep Singh’s stunning left-footer from almost 25 yards out found the top corner of the net.
The goal broke Churchill’s back and despite there being a couple of raids, they could not open their goal account till the final whistle. Infact, it were East Bengal who heaped more humiliation on the hosts as Chidi capitalised on a defensive lapse in the final minute of added time to make it 3-0.