Gabonese striker Henri Arnaud scores brace in 3-1 victory
Churchill Brothers SC registered a 3-1 victory over a fighting Wilred Leisure SC to snatch full points in the GFA’s Kingfisher Professional League match played at Nehru stadium on Wednesday.
At half time, Churchill Brothers were leading 3-0 with their Gabonese striker Henri Arnaud scoring a brace (6th and 9th minute) while the other goal was scored by another foreign import Akram Mograbi finding the mark in the 22nd minute.
Wilred Leisure who played their hearts out in the second session pulled one back in the very first minute of this session (46th minute) after striker Melwyn Fernandes unleashed a powerful shot that kept Churchill’s goalkeeper Felix D’Souza rooted under the bar.
With this win, Churchill Brothers have now collected 16 points and are fourth on the league table with Dempo are on top, securing 21 points, followed by Sesa FA with 17 points in their kitty. Margao SC are just behind Churchill Brothers with 11 points. Wilred Leisure are on 8 points.
Churchill Brothers who fielded three of their best I-league players in Akram Moghrabi and Henri Arnaud upfront and Lionel Rodrigues, started well and created rings around the Wilred Leisure citadel with swift passes. This had a telling effect on the Wilred Leisure team and very quickly Churchill Brothers scored two goals and then when the match was about 22 minutes old came the third goal which gave an impression that Wilred Leisure will have a tough time ahead.
But that had not to be as Wilred Leisure was a completely transformed side in the second session and no sooner did they take the field after lemon break, they scored to find a reducer.
While the first half belonged to Churchill for a major part of the proceedings, the second session was admirably controlled well by the Wilred Leisure lads who took the ball on several occasions at the edge of the rival box but lacked imagination to find the net.
Churchill went into the lead when Henri Arnaud, after receiving a pass in the middle ran a solo on the flank and then bulged the nets to beat Wilred goalkeeper Macklas Moraes who was later replaced as he sustained injuries. Wilred Leisure were also handicapped when playmaker Stanley Fernandes sustained injuries and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Within the next few minutes, Henri scored a gem of a goal with great style after the rebound from the rival keeper came to his feet off a shot taken by Alesh Sawant.
Churchill then began to press hard and under sustained pressure, the Wilred Leisure rearguard fell again.
A move from the right flank saw dangerous Akram Moghrabi rushing into the box and as he did that, a nice cross came to his feet from Satish Singh and Akram had no difficulty to bulge the nets.
Wilred Leisure came with renewed ideas in the second session controlling the midfield well and defending their citadel without any flaw. Had only their strikers been a little enterprising and imaginative, they could have come up with at least one more goal, given the fact that they pulled one back in the very first minute of the second session.
Daison Cardozo moved with the ball on the flank and then sent a pass to Melwyn Fernandes whose powerful shot gave no chance to the Churchill Brothers keeper. Churchill Brothers had a few chances in this half but the Wilred Leisure defence did their work well to contain the striker force of the rivals. [NT]