Goa: Mariano Dias` men helped themselves to a 6-0 home win over Shillong Lajong which saw leapfrog Pune FC at the top of the table.
Churchill Brothers SC handed out a 6-0 mauling of Shillong Lajong FC on home turf in a 14th round I-League fixture played at the Duler stadium in Goa, on Friday, which saw them surge to the top of the table.
Mariano Dias started with a familiar line-up consisting of Roberto Silva (Beto) in the midfield and Henry Antchouet in attack, while former TFA product Sanjay Balmuchu made his I-League debut for the Goan side.
The visitors had Friday Gbeneme and Sushil Singh as their two strikers with Renedy Singh and Boithang Haokip for assistance alongside the left and right wings respectively. Minchol Son and Subhas Singh were the two stopper backs in front of Basant Singh who replaced suspended Lalthuammawia Ralte in goal.
The home side had a few early chances in the game as Denzil Franco and Henry Antchouet worked their way upfront, but the latter didn`t find the back of the net in his initial attempts as Lajong defender Minchol Son stood in his way.
In the 14th minute, Beto dropped the ball for Steven Dias, but the Churchill midfielder wasn`t able to control the ball with Lajong defender Lalchhuanmawia brushing against him while rival keeper Basant Singh got there before Dias.
Churchill goalkeeper Sandip Nandy had the easy pickings on the other side as Friday Gbeneme`s shot, after being played in from the right by Boithang Haokip, didn`t have much power behind it in the 25th minute.
Three minutes later, Franco`s overhead lob toward Antchouet saw the Lajong keeper Basant Singh rush to the scene to make the save.
The opener finally came in the 40th minute when Steven Dias managed to outsmart Lajong defender Subhash Singh as he placed the ball past Basant Singh on receiving a long ball from Bilal Najjarine.
Another goal two minutes later saw Raju Yumnam spot Henry Antchouet in front of goal, while the latter couldn`t haved missed from about seven yards out as Basant Singh was beaten for the second time.
Lajong FC tried to resume the second half on the front foot, but were caught on the counter as Churchill Brothers extended their lead in the 55th minute.
After missing to find the target with a header from Steven Dias` cross in the 53rd minute, Beto`s cross was smacked in by Ajay Singh`s right footed effort which gave the Lajong custodian no chance whatsoever.
Churchill substitute Akram Moghrabi, who replaced Antchouet in the 63rd minute, headed in a cross from Raju Yumnam from the far left to make it 4-0 in the 66th minute.
Sandip Nandy meanwhile was made to work hard to keep a clean sheet in the match as the custodian did well to deflect Bipin Singh`s header from Boithang Haokip`s cross in the 70th minute.
Three minutes later, Moghrabi beat Lajong`s off-side trap and got the better of Basant Singh after being released by Steven Dias to make it 5-0.
Sandip Nandy got a touch to Boithang Haokip`s shot which came off the post and back into play as the Churchill defense dealt with the few Lajong attacks well.
With the game entering stoppage time, the hosts were to inflict further damage on the visitors as Beto collected the ball in the middle of the park and ran into vacant space before sending in a curling shot inside Basant Singh`s right hand post.
With this win, Churchill Brothers SC move on top of the table with 28 points from 12 matches. Desmond Bulpin`s side, on the other hand, have 13 points from as many matches.