- Churchill Bros, FC Bardez game ends in a thrilling draw
Churchill Bros, FC Bardez game ends in a thrilling draw
Sherman and Inacio score quick goals to give the Pink Brigade the lead while Francis reduces the margin for the Red Machines in the first session as Francis nets equaliser in stoppage time
MAPUSA: Francis Onayema scored in stoppage-time to rescue a point as Churchill Brothers Sports Club wereheld by Football Club de Bardez to an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Goa Professional League match, organised by Goa Football Association, played at Duler Stadium, here on Monday.
With this point, Churchill are still at the bottom of the table with just seven points from eight matches, while Bardez are on the 9th place with 17 points from 17 matches.
Churchill Brothers had included Nigerian striker Francis Onayema along with other I-League starters like Suraj Singh, Pankaj Sona and Israil Gurung, while Bardez coach made three changes to his side which drew against Calangute Association as Kirtikesh Gadekar, Stany Braganza and Joliston Rebello made into the starting XI.
Bardez keeper David Chauhan came with two brilliant saves in the opening minutes of the match to rescue his side as he first pushed Pankaj’s goal-bound shot for a corner. In the very next minute, he made an excellent save off Francis’ strong header from close.
At the other end, Bardez stunned the Red Machines when they surged ahead in the 18th minute through Sherman Vaz who made an easy tap-in from Joywin Carneiro’s perfect cross from the right.
The home fans had hardly settled down from the first goal when Inacio Colaco brought them again on their feet with a stunning goal as his out-footer from the top of the box finished at the back of the nylons to make it 2-0 for his side.
Down by two goals within the first 20 minutes, Churchill’s coach brought in Britto PM to replace U-20 Sevlon Cardozo on the wing and his presence on the pitch was clearly felt as the Red Machine were more potent in their attacks. And finally, after some probing attacks, Francis reduced the margin for Churchill in the 33rd minute when he snatched the ball from Bardez defender Krishnanath Shirodkar, covered some ground and shot past Bardez keeper from the top of the box.
However, the Nigerian frontman was completely offside but linesman Dharma Chodankar overlooked the situation allowing him to score.
In the last 10 minutes of the session, Bardez keeper David once again came up with a brilliant save as he blocked Pankaj’s powerful strike from close. A few minutes later, Bardez had a golden opportunity to equalise when Alber Gonsalves set up Francis in front of the goal but the Nigerian strike shot wide from point-blank range.
Churchill completely dominated the entire second session with continuous attacks on the opponents but some aimless shots from Francis and brilliant defending from Bardez last line Viraj Naik, Jessel Carneiro, Krishnanath, Joliston and Lalbabu Matho restricted the former I-League champions from scoring.
In one of these, Britto made a fine cross to find Uttam Rai in the goalmouth but Bardez midfielder Joywin cleared it before the striker could do any damage. Another chance went in the vain for Churchill in added time when Francis set up Uttam with just keeper to beat but the striker’s placement went just wide.
However, in the 96th minute, Francis put the team on level terms when he headed in from close off Pankaj’s superb cross in the box to grab a point from the match.