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Last-gasp Churchill hold FC Bardez

Red machines salvage 2-2 draw with francis’s stoppage time goal in thriller at duler

13th March 2018, 07:30 Hrs

the goan I network

DULER  

Churchill Brothers FC wiped out a deficit of two first half goals to hold Football Club de Bardez in a thrilling 2-2 draw in the Goa Professional League, organised by Goa Football Association, at Duler Stadium, here on Monday.  

The Pink Brigade scored two quick goals in the 18th and 19th minute through Sherman Vaz and Inacio Colaco while Francis Onayema netted a brace for Churchill Brothers. With this point, Churchill are still languishing at the bottom of the table with just seven points from eight matches, while Bardez are on the 9th place with 17 points from 17 matches.  

Churchill Brothers coach Alfred Fernandes brought in Nigerian striker Francis Onayema along with other I-League players Suraj Singh, Pankaj Sona and Israil Gurung, while Bardez coach Climax Lawrence made three changes to his side which drew against Calangute Association as Kirtikesh Gadekar, Stany Braganza and Joliston Rebello made into the starting XI.   

It was the Red Machines that held the upper hand in the 90 minutes of the duel, but yet it was the Pink Brigade who scored in the first session. Bardez keeper David Chauhan came to his team’s rescue with two brilliant saves in the opening minutes of the match as he first pushed Pankaj’s goal-bound shot for a corner, while in the very next minute, he made an excellent save to deny Francis who hit a strong header 

from close.  

While the Pink Brigade did the attacking, it was the Bardez colts that stunned their opponents by scoring two quick goals. In the 18th minute, Bardez surged ahead through Sherman Vaz who made an easy tap-in from goalmouth off Joywin Carneiro’s perfect cross from the right, 1-0.  

Hardly had the Red Machines digested conceding the goal, Bardez doubled their lead a minute later. Inacio Colaco sent a blistering right footer from the top of the box that finished in the back of the nylons to make it 2-0.  

Trailing by two goals, the Churchill coach brought in PM Britto to replace U-20 player Sevlon Cardozo on the wing and the move paid dividends as the Red Machines became more aggressive in their attacks. Finally in the 33rd minute, Francis reduced the margin for Churchill as he snatched the ball from Bardez defender Krishnanath Shirodkar and scored from the top of the box.  

In the last 10 minutes of the session, Red Machines had two more chances to equalise but Bardez keeper David once again came up with a superb save as he blocked Pankaj’s powerful strike from close. A few minutes later, another good chance was squandered by Churchill when Alber Gonsalves set up Francis in front the of the goal but the Nigerian shot wide from point-blank range.  

On resumption of play, it was total domination from the Red Machines who time and again attacked the rival citadel, but a couple of goal-bound strikes from Francis, PM Britto and Uttam Rai were collected by keeper David. Also the last line of Bardez defence led by Viraj Naik, Jessel Carneiro, Krishnanath, Joliston and Lalbabu Matho did a commendable job to restrict the former I-League champions from 

scoring.   

In the 90th minute, Britto tried to flash the ball to an unmarked Uttam Rai in the goalmouth but Bardez midfielder Joywin cleared it before the striker could do any damage. With six minutes of added-on time, Churchill had two more chances to score.  

Francis set up Uttam inside the penalty box, where the latter had just the rival keeper to beat, but the striker’s placement went just wide. However, to great frustration of the Bardez team, their citadel collapsed in the 96th minute when Francis headed the ball past keeper David off a perfect cross by Pankaj Sona at the far post, 2-2.