I-League: TRAU FC Get Third Straight Win as They Stun Churchill Brothers
Margao: I-League debutants TRAU FC stretched their winning run to three games on Sunday as they defeated third-placed Churchill Brothers FC Goa 2-1 at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao, Goa.
The visitors, who were the better team on Sunday, made the most of their scoring opportunities to seal the victory. TRAU FC drew first blood in the 15th minute through a Gerard Williams header. Churchill Brothers FC Goa restored parity in the 30th minute through Abu Bakr's header from a corner but the hosts lost their lead due to an own goal due to custodian Jafar Mondal's faulty clearance, resulting in TRAU FC walking away with the precious three points.
With three consecutive wins on the run, TRAU FC are now placed eighth with 11 points from eight games, while Churchill Brothers remain third with 10 points from six games.
Playing their second game in Goa within seven days, TRAU FC, riding on a five-game unbeaten run, started on an attacking note. The I-League debutants pressed hard from the first minute and earned a corner within the first 20 seconds but failed to make it count. Hosts Churchill Brothers FC Goa, on the other hand, looked disorganised as it was the visitors who were seen controlling the game.
TRAU then had another chance in the third minute but a good save from Churchill's Jaffar Mondal ensured the hosts weren't embarrassed early in the game.
The visitors did not give up though and their attacking line of Naocha, Emeka and Krishnanada kept the Churchill defence on their toes. TRAU's constant efforts soon resulted in a goal. A short corner followed by a cross to the far post by TRAU's Meitei saw Gerrard Williams make no mistake in finding the back of the net through a close-range effort.
Rattled by TRAU's early lead, Churchill Brothers tried making a comeback but their efforts were dissuaded by a disciplined defence line. They increased the pace of their attack from the 20th minute onwards and were then able to restore parity in the 30th minute. An error from TRAU's Mithun Samanta let the ball roll into the goal from a header by Abu Bakar off a corner.
The game thereafter was a mix of efforts from both ends but it was the visitors who ruled the pitch in the first half that came to an end with the scoreline reading 1-1.
The second half started with TRAU again pressing hard to take a lead. Their efforts soon yielded results but because of a glaring error from Churchill's goalkeeper Jafar Mondal. Mondal, in an effort to clear the ball from a Meitei corner kick, ended up punching the ball inside his own goal. This mix-up saw the visitors earning a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute.
The game, thereafter, saw TRAU leading most of the attack while the hosts seemed helpless in their attempts to earn an equaliser. The TRAU defence played a key role keeping Churchill's Willis Plaza quiet and not giving him any clear opportunity in the whole game.