I-League: Mumbai down Churchill Brothers
Mapusa: Churchill Brothers paid dearly for a missed penalty in the first half as Mumbai FC struck twice in the second half to score their first win in the third round of the Airtel I-League here on Saturday.
After a barren first half, Mumbai, who did well to defend their citadel in the second half, scored through Essien Orok (46th) and Climax Lawerence (87th).
The win took Mumbai FC to five points from three matches, while Churchill Brothers, who suffered their second defeat, have one point from three matches.
Churchill Brothers made a couple of changes from their last match with keeper Lalit Tapa playing his first match in place of injured Arindam Bhattacharya and Anthony Periera, who has been loaned from Mohun Bagan after he refused to play them because of pay cut.
Afghanistan striker Sandjar Ahmadi made his debut for Mumbai FC. Both the teams fought evenly in the first half as the ball moved to and fro with neither team able to break the deadlock in the barren first half.
Churchill Brothers, who enjoyed a better ball possession, pressed hard to score but Antchouet and Balwant Singh effort went out.
However, their effort bore fruit as they earned a penalty five minutes before the interval when Nicholas Rodrigues brought down Bineesh Balan inside the box and referee M B Santosh awarded penalty.
Henri Antchouet, who took the kick, directed a feeble shot at the goal which rival keeper Kunal Sawant dived to his left and managed to prevent the ball going into the net.
Mumbai FC, who also came with few counter moves with Nicholas Rodrigues attempt from a free-kick, was punched over by keeper Lalit Tapa.
Mumbai FC, who looked determined to score, got the break through soon after resumption with Amiri setting up Essien Orok on the left, who was left unmark. He controlled the ball and on entering the box curled the ball that hit the post and found the back of the net.
After conceding the goal, Churchill had no option but to bring in half fit Hugo Machado and Al Kaddour as they pressed hard to find the equaliser but the rival defence led by Anwar Ali did well to keep them away.
Mumbai FC were back to the wall with Churchill Brothers camping into the box in search of the equaliser but the Mumbai side survived close chances as keeper Kunal Sawant did well to punch over a free kick taken by Hugo Machado.
The Mumbai side made a counter with Nicholas Rodrigues sending a low cross from the left into the box for Climax Lawerence, who volleyed the ball into the net to make the issue safe and give Mumbai FC full points.
Churchill Brothers did everything except scoring and were unlucky for not finding the net in the dying minutes as Henri Antchouet`s effort was saved by defender Valerino Rebello on the goal line.
Amiri of Mumbai FC, who played outstanding game setting Orok for the first goal, was declared the man of the match.