GOA, 19th December, 2017: Churchill Brothers suffered their fifth straight defeat of the ongoing Hero I-League season as they went down 2-0 against Chennai City FC in their I-League match at the Tilak Maidan Vasco on Tuesday. Goals from Jean Michael Joachim (45’+1′) and Murilo Ribeiro Almeida (52′) helped Chennai City FC register their first win of the season and outplay the Red Machines in their first home match.
Churchill Brothers kicked things off when their in-form winger Nicholas Fernandes tried a shot from 8 yards out that was blocked off in the third minute of the game. But slowly, Chennai City started growing into the game as they began to keep the Churchill Brothers goalkeeper James Kithan busy while team’s attacking endeavours fizzling out. Chennai City came agonisingly close to opening the scoreline when the Churchill Brothers defence made a hash of a clearance from a corner-kick and the ball found its way to striker Jean Michael Joaquim who was about to pull the trigger but was closed down on time.
Chennai City looked more and more threatening as the game went on and Joachim should have scored from another opportunity. The French forward was beautifully picked out in the six yard box by a sumptuous Vanspaul cross. But the Frenchman shockingly scuffed his header while being just three yards in front of goal. Chennai City kept creating chances and saw two efforts hit the post as Kithan was being put under more and more pressure and their captain Susai Raj was at the heart of their attacks.
Meanwhile, Kithan had to be alert again when Joachim laid off the ball to Murilo Ribeiro but the keeper closed him down on time. But they could do nothing as Chennai City deservingly broke the deadlock in additional time of first half when striker Joachim shrugged off Israil Gurung down the left channel and slide the ball past an onrushing Kithan from a tight angle. The striker took his tally to four goals for the season as the visitors went into half-time leading 1-0.
Churchill started the second half well when Uttam Rai drew a save from Chennai City goalkeeper Uros Poijanec after a one-two with Eric Obinna. But it was the team from Chennai who found the back of the net again seven minutes after resuming the proceedings. Almeida received the ball inside the box down the right. The attacker took the ball on his favoured left foot and curled the ball into the far post as it hit the post and into the net. Kithan could only look on as Chennai City led 2-0 in the 52nd minute.
Joachim had another chance when he had a free-header thanks to an inch-perfect cross from Romario but the striker could not put his head to it. Churchill Brothers suffered another setback when they were down to 10-men when youngster Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw picked up a second yellow card after a clumsy foul on Murilo in the 66th minute when there was no real danger when the duo came together near the sideline.
Churchill Brothers never looked to stage a fight-back and out of ideas whereas Chennai City were runaway winners. Following the match, Chennai City will jump to the seventh spot with 4 points from as many games and Churchill Brothers FC Goa will be rooted at the bottom without any point from the same number of games. Chennai City FC will be relieved now as they’ll come back to their home to face Kingfisher East Bengal on 22nd December and the Red Machines will host Mariners next on the Boxing Day.