Match Report: Churchill Brothers 0– 2 East Bengal
East Bengal handed Churchill Brothers their third successive loss on the trot in the round 3 encounter of the I-League at the Tilak maidan Stadium in Goa on Wednesday.
Thongkhosiem Haokip capitalised on poor marking to give East Bengal the lead in the 31st minute before Lalrendika Ralte's curling corner ended up in the back of the net just seconds before half time, giving the away side a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Red Machines.
East Bengal coach started with his signature 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Willis Plaza and Haokip leading the line. He was forced to make a change very early in the game as Anwar Ali picked up an injury in the 3rd minute of the match.
Churchill Brothers coach, Alfred Fernandes made three changes to his squad that lost to Mumbai FC in their last encounter. Fulganco Cardozo, Richard Costa and Agnelo Colaco were given a start in place of Satish Singh, Clifford Miranda and Surchandra Singh.
Churchill were exposed defensively in their last two matches and the same trend continued in the first half. Nikhil Poojary created some nervous moments with his darting runs down the right for the Churchill defence. It was Poojary who was the main orchestrator behind the first goal as his inch-perfect cross from the right found an unmarked Haokip in the Churchill box, who made no mistake in placing the ball into the net with a well-directed header.
East Bengal doubled the lead just before half-time when Dika's inswinging corner directly curled into the back of the net, even though Ivan Bukenya claimed to have got a touch.
The two goals were enough to sink the morale of the Churchill side as they never really found their footing in the match.
East Bengal could have piled on some more misery on Churchill in the 63rd minute when Wedson spotted Priyant off his line and tried to chip the ball into an empty net but missed by a whisker.
The only notable chance for Churchill came in the 80th minute when Agnelo Colaco's right-footed piledriver of a shot hit the woodwork.
The match never really lived up to the expectations but coach Trevor Morgan will be happy with three points. With the help of this win East Bengal have now garnered 7 points from 3 games, while Churchill Brothers are yet to open their account.
East Bengal next face defending champions Bengaluru FC at home while Churchill Brothers will facing DSK Shivajians away from home.
Man of the Match: Lalrendika Ralte.
FeverPitch's Man of the Match: Lalrendika Ralte.