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Odafe 'trick' gives Churchill Durand Cup

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 22, 2009 21:09 IST
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Odafe Okolie's brilliant hat-trick helped Churchill Brothers beat Mohun Bagan 3-1 in the final and win the Durand Cup football title at the Ambedkar stadium on Tuesday.

The dashing Nigerian striker scored thrice in extra-time after the Goan team went a goal down to hand Churchill their second straight title.

Earlier this month, Churchill had beaten Bagan 2-0 to win the IFA Shield, Odafe proving instrumental in the victory against the Green and Maroon brigade from Kolkata.

On Tuesday, when all seemed lost for the Goa side after Edeh Chidi put Bagan ahead in the fifth minute of extra-time, Odafe found the mark in the 100th, 105th and 110th minutes to register the first ever hat-trick in a Durand final, and enable Carlos Alberto Pareira's boys maintain a clean slate against the Kolkata giants in the new season.

The Goan side emerged richer by Rs 500,000, while Mohun Bagan pocketed Rs 300,000.

Contrary to the scoreline, the high voltage match could not produce a single goal in regulation time. Churchill could have taken the lead in the 39th minute but for a goal-line save by Bagan midfielder Snehasish Chaktaborty, who cleared a fierce Ogba Kalu header from a corner taken from the right by Charan Rai.

In the 83rd minute, Chidi's right-footer from the top left edge of the box went out after touching the outstretched hands of a diving Churchill goalkeeper Arindam.

Five minutes into extra-time, Chidi rose over his marker to connect a free-kick by Subhojit Majumdar, who replaced James Singh in the second half, past a hapless Churchill goalkeeper to the wild cheers of vociferious Mohun Bagan supporters.

But the same Mohun Bagan fans were stunned to silence five minutes later as Odafe shot past the goalkeeper off a pass from his hardworking strike partner Reisangmi Vashum to restore parity.

Odafe again came to the party, heading home after a goalmouth scramble to give Churchil a 2-1 lead.

Odafe then completed his hat-trick in the 105th minute, latching on a Charan Rai pass and sending the ball to the left of the Mohun Bagan goalkepeer.

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