Margao: Henry Arnaud Autchouet`s first half strike propelled Churchill Brothers to a solitary goal win over Mumbai FC in their sixth I-League match at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Sunday.
The visitors fought hard and held forte resolutely denying Churchill more goals except for the lone goal scored by Autchouet from a penalty after defender Keegan Pereira handled the ball inside the box in the 30th minute.
Churchill could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for rival custodian Ishant Debnath, who put up a good performance under the bar bringing off timely saves.
The Goan side, who lost their previous tie against Mohun Bagan, attacked right from the word go and Autchouet`s attempt at the goal in the first minute was saved on the goalline by Sampath Kutty Mani.
Mumbai took time to settle down, held ball possession for a brief period and had two good chances to surge ahead against the run of play but Ebi Sukore first failed to direct his shot on target and later his try was saved by diving keeper Felix D`Souza in the 26th minute.
Felix again came to his side`s rescue when he blocked a Cavin Lobo shot, and off deflection Nicolas Rodrigues, who was free inside the box and only had the keeper to beat, ballooned the ball over the bar.
After these close shaves, Churchill took the lead in the 30th minute.
Autchouet, who received the ball inside the box, tried to take a shot which Keegan Pereira handled and referee Balasubramaniam pointed to the dreaded spot after showing a yellow card to the Mumbai FC player. Autchouet converted the penalty.
Thereafter, Churchill dominated and could have scored more goals but the rival defenders put up a resolute show to deny them further success.
The victory took Churchill, who won their fourth match, to 13 points from six matches, while Mumbai FC remained on three points from six matches.