Churchill Brothers brought the Mohammedan Sporting juggernaut to a halt thanks to a brace from striker Kenneth Ngwoke that led the Goan side to a 2-1 victory at the Kalyani Stadium today. The league’s leading scorer Marcus Joseph scored his 8th goal of the Hero I-League season, but it was not enough for the Black and White Brigade to avoid their first defeat of the season.
Churchill Brothers got off to the best possible start by taking the lead in the 2nd minute of play. A regulation long ball behind the Mohammedan Sporting backline caused miscommunication in their box, as goalkeeper Zothanmawia was deceived by a hesitant touch from his own defender. Ngwoke was on hand to capitalise on the error and slide the ball into the empty Mohammedan Sporting goal to put his side in front.
The two sides then exchanged looks at goal in the 9th and 11th minute. Brandon had the opportunity for Mohammedan Sporting first, but his left footed effort curled past the frame of the goal. Komron Tursunov then unleashed a swerving and dipping effort from long range that drew a competent save from Mohammedan Sporting custodian Zothanmawia.
The game took on a breakneck pace for the remainder of the half as the league leaders found themselves chasing a spirited Churchill Brothers side keen to turn their form around in the Hero I-League.
As the half time whistle provided a much needed respite, both teams came out in the second period with renewed intent and energy to lay the foundation for a fantastic contest in the second half.
Mohammedan Sporting levelled the score in the 57th minute through talisman and league top scorer Marcus Joseph. Joseph attacked the ball with aggression from a Nikola Stojanovic corner, and beat his defender to send a glancing header into the far post.
Joseph had a chance to make it another brace for himself in the 61at minute when he was sent through on goal, but the Trinidadian striker poked his left footed finish agonisingly past goal.
Mohammedan Sporting were made to pay for the missed opportunity a minute later when Kenneth Ngwoke doubled his tally of goals in the match in the 62nd minute. Ngwoke latched on to the second ball from a clearance, and ran at the Mohammedan Sporting defence to terrifying effect. Ngwoke raced past the opponent defenders and made no mistake one-on-one against goalkeeper Zothanmawia as he slid in a confident finish to restore the advantage for Churchill Brothers.
The Black and White Brigade showed no signs of letting up, however, as they continued to produce chances to come back into the game. Some well worked interplay between the Mohammedan Sporting front line created another chance for Marcus Joseph in the 78th minute, but the striker scuffed his effort this time, causing Shilton Paul no problems in goal.
Mohammedan Sporting came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 90th minute when Marcus Joseph’s left footed thunderbolt came back off the upright after beating Shilton Paul on his near post. It was not to be for Mohammedan Sporting on the day, earning Churchill Brothers a well deserved first win of their Hero I-League 2021-22 campaign.
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