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Churchill get past Viva Kerala

Margao: Defending champions Churchill Brothers Tuesday defeated Viva Kerala 2-0 in the second round of the third edition of the I-league football at Tilak Ground, Vasco near here.

The first win takes the Goan outfit to four points from two matches. Churchill, who drew their first match against Mahindra United, struck early when R. Vashum scored in the 2nd minute.

The early goal propelled Churchill to intensify their attacks. Striker Okolie Odafe, who was marked closely, increased the lead to 2-0 before the interval.

However, Churchill received a setback when Okolie was shown a red card minutes before the half time when he deliberately elbowed defender Charles Dzisiah.

The second half belonged to Viva Kerala as they were in possession of the ball most of the time but failed to penetrate the rival’s defence. They had chances to score but wayward shooting exposed their lack of experience.

Churchill were further reduced to nine men when Naveen Kumar got marching order from referee Dipak Singh for handling the ball deliberately.

That the defending champions got the job done with nine men on the field speaks volumes about the side’s ability and determination.

At least when it comes to scoring goals the Goan sides have no competition. Okolie scored a record 26 goals in their 2008-09 I-League campaign and more than 50 goals in all competitions.

And the Goan giants have taken up from where they left off last year. This time Churchill have come into the league with the IFA Shield and Durand Cup titles, both of which they won with consummate ease beating, Mohun Bagan, who were last season’s league runners-up.

(PTI)

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