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Churchill, Dempo split points

Vasco: Sunil Chetri scored a brace to help Churchill Brothers eke out a 2-2 draw against defending champions Dempo SC in an I-League match at the Tilak Maidan, here, on Wednesday. Ryuji Sueoka and Climax Lawrence had twice given Dempo the lead.

The draw meant Churchill Brothers still have a five-point lead at the top of the table with East Bengal being placed second with 43 points.

Dempo played with purpose at the start and seemed determined to notch up a win. That their opponents allowed them the space also helped their cause.

The defending champions drew first blood in the 12th minute through Ryuji Sueoka. Debabrata Roy made a sparkling run on the left before making a brilliant cross for Sueoka. The Japanese didn’t make any mistake as he headed home easily.

Churchill were rattled by the early setback but they soon regained their composure. Sunil forced a good save from Dempo goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury while Henri Autchouet and substitute Belal Arezou’s attempts missed the target by a whisker. Churchill found the equaliser in the 44th minute when Sunil scored from a delightful free-kick.