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I-League: Junior guides Sporting to victory over Churchill

April 17, 2010 22:49 IST

Junior Obagbemiro struck twice as Sporting Clube de Goa ended Churchill Brothers' hopes of retaining the title with a 2-1 victory in an I-League match at Nehru stadium on Saturday.

Churchill's Felix Chimaokwu scored in the 87th minute to cancel Junior Obagbemiro 21st minute strike.

But Junior scored the winner one minute later (88th) to help Sporting Clube de Goa score their third successive win and keep their hopes of avoiding relegation in the I-League.

Sporting, with their third successive win, took their tally to 20 points from as many matches while Churchill remained on 32 points from 20 matches.

Sporting got the perfect start today when they earned a penalty after Agnelo D'Souza was brought down by Churchill defender Robert Lalthlamuana inside the box which Junior converted it by beating keeper Arindam Bhattacharya to his right.

Churchill, who held midfield superiority, put the rival defence under sustained pressure but failed to find the elusive equalizer in the absence of their goal getter Odafe Okolie who had to sit out due to double booking.

Durga Boro, who played after a long gap from injury, was included in place of Odafe, did little precious except on one occasion when his attempted back heel missed the target narrowly.

Sporting defence looked compact and did not allow any room for Churchill strikers to operate. With Churchill doing most of the attacking with the defence moving up, they left a wide gap and Agnelo, who managed to get the better of defender Gouramangi Moirangthem, could not beat goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya with his shot which lacked power.

After the break, Agnelo again had a glorious chance to increase the lead but he once again failed to beat the goalkeeper who managed to put the ball to safety.

Churchill improved their performance in the second half and looked like finding the equaliser but were unlucky when a rasping drive by Kalu hit the crossbar.

A few minutes later, Durgo Boro's attempt was saved by goalkeeper Felix de Souza.

Midway into the second half, there was a scary moment when Churchill goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya got a nasty blow on the head and fell unconscious after he collided with Junior who went up to intercept a cross from Rovan Pereira from the left.

Arindam, who was replaced by Lalit Thapa, was immediately rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and was back in the stadium after getting medical treatment.

Churchill's continuous effort bore fruit when they were awarded a penalty after Samananda Singh brought down Kalu Ogba inside the box and had to leave the field for getting his second yellow in the dying minutes.

Felix Chimaokwu converted from the spot in the 87th minute.

But Sporting retaliated and scored the winner one minute later when Junior Obagbemiro, who received a pass from substitute Michael Tayo on top of the box, unleashed a rasping drive that beat goalkeeper Lalit Thapa all ends up to find the back of the net.

Referee P Bhasker showed yellow card to Sporting's Junior Obagbemiro, Samananda Singh and Churchill's Reisangmi Vashum and Vimal Pariyar.

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