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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kuwait FC rally to hold Churchill 2-2

Kuwait FC rally to hold Churchill 2-2

March 17, 2010 10:23 IST

Churchill Brothers let in an injury time goal as they played out a 2-2 draw against defending champions Kuwait Sports Club in a Group 'B' AFC Cup match at the Nehru Stadium in Margao.

After Churchill captain Odafe Okolie had cancelled out Nawaf Osama's second half strike for Kuwait FC, Kalu Ogba put the home team in the lead in the 70th minute. However, Bashar A S A Abdulaziz restored parity in the stoppage time for the visitors.

Churchill dominated for most part of the match but had themselves to be blamed for not utilising a handful of chances that came their way.

The visitors surged ahead against the run of play in the 66th minute when Hussain Hakim took a free kick from the right and lobbed the ball into the box for Basha Abdulaziz, who headed home giving keeper Arindam Bhattacharya no chance to react.

Churchill did not lose heart as they made counterattacks and scored two goals in the space of two minutes.

Reisangmi Vashum worked his way on the right and sent a cross into the box for Kalu Ogba who relayed to a better-placed Odafe Okalie who scored from close range to restore parity.

Minutes later, Kalu Ogba put Churchill ahead when he lunged forward to head the ball into the net off a cross from Lalrindika Ralte.

However, the hosts lost concentration in the stoppage time and conceded a goal allowing their opponents to snatch a point.

Substitute Ahmad Sobeah, from inside the box, took a shot at the goal which hit the crossbar and the rebound fell in front of Rodrigo Vergilio who squared the ball towards unmarked Bashar Abdulaziz whose firm right footer found the back of the Churchill net.

Earlier, the visitors adopted a defensive approach allowing the hosts do most of the attacking in the first half.

Churchill played a cohesive game with the midfield and upfront combining well as they made inroads into the rival half more often but failed to score from the four clear chances in the first half.

The Goan-club had an opportunity to surge ahead in the 19th minute when Felix Chimaokwu was put through by Kalu Ogba but the former failed to cash on the chance as he drove the ball wide off the mark.

Three minutes later, Vashum lobbed the ball to Odafe Okolie inside the box who chested it and sent a bicycle kick but keeper Musab Alkandari managed to punch it out.

Churchill kept on the pressure and had two more chances to take the lead but first Ogba Kalu, who was fed by Felix, shot out in haste to the dismay of the Churchill fans who had come in large numbers to cheer their team.

Odafe, who was marked tightly by the rival defenders, gave a good account of himself as he nearly scored in the closing stages of the first half but his shot sailed inches over the bar.

Meanwhile, referee Tseytlin Vladislav of Uzbekistan showed yellow cards to Churchill Brothers' Odafe Okolie and Kuwait FC's Musab Alkandari.

After the match, Churchill Brothers' coach Carlos Pereira said he was happy with his team's performance.

"They played their best match of the season and deserved to win. But a draw is also a good result," Pereira said.

Kuwait FC coach Arthur Da Silva, however, was disappointed with his team's performance.

"They did not play to win but luckily managed to garner a point. Churchill played excellent game and deserved to win," he said.

Kuwait FC, who had also drawn their first match, now have two points from two matches while Churchill, who played their first match, have one point.

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