Churchill Brothers hand Indian Arrows first home defeat

Gurgaon: Indian arrows suffered their first home defeat in the I-League with a 1-2 loss against Churchill Brothers in a Round XVII match on Wednesday.

Prolific striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie and Kayne Vincent scored for Churchill Brothers in the 10th and 88th minute respectively while Jeje Lalpekhlua pulled one back in the 90th minute for Arrows at Tau Devi Lal Stadium.

After Wednesday`s win, Churchill jumped to second spot with 33 points ahead of East Bengal (32). Salgaocar are still on top spot with 37 points.

Churchill drew first blood in the 10th minute through their Nigerian striker Odafe. The prolific striker made no mistake with his left foot of a Steven Dias corner after
Indian Arrows failed to clear the ball.

Indian Arrows tried their best to restore parity in the opening session but failed to breach the Churchill defence led by India International Gouramangi Singh. The Manipuri defender was later adjudged man-of-the-match for his steady performance at the back.

The home side got their best chance in 29th minute when Subodh Kumar`s free-kick was marginally over the woodwork with goalkeeper Lalit Thapa beaten all ends.

Churchill Brothers further got a golden opportunity to increase the lead but to their despair, Amouri`s right footer hit the woodwork from the top of the 18-yard box.

After changing ends, Indian Arrows did put lot of pressure through free-kicks, but failed to notch up the equalizer.

Churchill Brothers then brought in Kayne Vincent and Bineesh Balan in place of Odafe and Dias respectively and the duo paved the way for the second goal. Vincent found the back of the net two minutes before the end of the match.

Bineesh picked up a loose ball and made a swift run from the center before essaying the ball to Vincent who made no mistake to put Churchill on the drivers` seat.

The match saw a dramatic end as Jeje Lalpekhlua pulled one back in the last minute with a superb shot from the top of the box.

Indian Arrows now have 16 points from 17 matches.