East Bengal 1-2 Churchill Brothers: Derrick Pereira's Side Stun The Red & Golds
Derrick Pereira's Churchill Brothers stunned East Bengal, defeating them 2-1 at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. Anthony Wolfe gave the visitors the lead in the 7th minute before Kromah doubled the lead in the 34th minute. Chris Payne pulled one back in the 68th minute but Churchill Brothers stood tall to register their third consecutive win.
East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan was forced to make one change going into the game. Veteran defender Anwar Ali returned to the starting lineup, replacing an injured Gurwinder Singh.
High on confidence after their victory against Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers went with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Ghanefo Kromah and Anton Wolfe upfront.
Churchill Brothers got off to the best possible start they could have imagined as they took a surprising lead in the 7th minute. East Bengal custodian Rehenesh TP's miscued clearance ricocheted off Anton Wolfe and went over Rehensh's head in front of an open goal. Anton Wolfe rolled the ball into the back of the net, giving Churchill the surprise lead.
Shaken by the early goal, East Bengal searched for the elusive equaliser. However, a galore of miss passes meant that The Red and Gold brigade could never really get a grip on proceedings.
Meanwhile, Churchill trio Brandon, Kromah and Wolfe wrecked havoc in the East Bengal defence. On the other hand, East Bengal's long ball strategy was easily dealt with by the Churchill defence.
Wolfe could have doubled Churchill's lead in the 24th minute when he was on the receiving end of a long ball from Adil Khan but his header was saved by an onrushing Rehenesh.
Churchill, however, doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Anton Wolfe's defence-splitting pass found Kromah in space who deceived the East Bengal keeper Rehenesh, with a clever dummy before placing the ball into an open net.
Minutes later, Trevor Morgan introduced his ace striker Willis Plaza replacing MD Rafique.
Plaza almost immediately repaid the faith of his gaffer in the dying embers of the first half when his left-footed shot from close range was brilliantly saved the Churchill custodian Naveen Kumar.
However, Churchill weathered the late storm, keeping the 2 goal lead intact at half-time.
Upon resumption, East Bengal piled bodies upfront but failed to create openings. Trevor Morgan introduced Didika in a bid to keep the left wing active.
The East Bengal strikers were having an off day as they lacked the finishing touch.
East Bengal finally managed to reduce the deficit in the in the 66th minute when an outstretched Chris Payne placed the ball in the back of the net from a Robin Singh assist.
The goal restored the confidence in the East Bengal camp, who for the first time in the match, had complete control of proceedings.
However, luck was not on East Bengal's side as Anwar's header from a Mehtab corner hit the cross bar in the 84th minute.
Churchill defenders were working over-time to clear their lines and managed to weather East Bengal's late onslaught.
The match ended 2-1 in favour of Churchill Brothers whose impressive run under new coach Derrick Pereira continued.
Man of The Match - Naveen Kumar.
Feverpitch's Man of the Match- Anton Wolfe.