skipper Beto (front) in a superb celebratory mood after
Akram’s third goal at Fatorda, Thursday.
Churchill had suffered a setback in the opening match against Dempo where, despite dominating, they still ended 1-2 losers. But today, the favourites lived up to their top billing as Lebanese striker Akram Moghrabi scored three goals that left the visitors bleeding.
Brazilian striker Roberto Mendes da Silva and Lebanon defender Bilal N also added their names to the impressive scorers list.
Churchill were favoured to win this clash but nobody expected them to win so easily especially against a team that had caused considerable problems to Pune in their opening match.
Akram was the hero of the match right from the start as he opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Steven Dias’ short corner saw the Lebanon striker leap impressively to head the ball past the ONGC goalkeeper.
Roberto made it 2-0 when he converted a rebound after the ONGC goalkeeper had managed to keep out Akram’s header from close range.
Akram got his second and the team’s third goal just two minutes later when Steven Dias turned provider once again from a corner kick.
Any thoughts that Churchill would take their foot off the accelerator were wiped away when Bilal added his name to the scoresheet, this time Roberto turning the provider with a measured ball.
Akram scored his third and capped a fine evening when he scored a stunning shot. The Lebanon striker collected a ball from just outside the box and ended with a long ranger that dipped viciously into the far corner of the net.
The second session saw Churchill creating more chances but they could not score more goals.