Updated: February 9, 2019 11:18:22 pm
Anthony Wolfe’s late penalty enabled Churchill Brothers FC salvage a 1-1 draw against Mohun Bagan in a Hero I-League match at Tilak Maidan here on Saturday. With this result in the 12th Hero I-League, Churchill remain in third position on the table with 30 points from 17 games, while Mohun Bagan too remained in sixth spot, having garnered 23 points from 16 matches.
Both coaches, Petra Gigiu of Churchill and Khalid Jamil of Bagan, wrang in the changes at the start of the game, making three and four respectively, but still could not manage three points in three successive games. This could be the crucial period which will keep them away from the league title in the final calculations which are now less than a month away.
The game could not reach the heights as expected and the first half saw Mohun Bagan take the lead into the break with the help of an opportunistic Dipanda Dicka strike in the 39th minute, which was his seventh in this year’s campaign.
Haitian winger Sony Norde missed a chance early and then Lybian defender Hussein Eldor hit the woodwork in the 17th minute for Churchill, before Dicka struck six minutes before the end of the half.
What could have unsettled the home side before conceding was the fact that they lost two crucial players before that due to injury. Hussein Eldor had to be replaced by Rowlinson Rodriguez and Richard Costa had to be carried away on stretcher in tears and was replaced by Aniston Fernandes.
Norde was brought down just inside the Churchill half on the left by Wayne Vaz, who otherwise has had a brilliant time of keeping the Haitian in check. From the resultant free-kick, Abinash Ruidas floated the ball in towards Henry Kisekka inside the box, who climbed to head towards the path of Dicka.
The Cameroonian seemed to have been well covered by Rowlinson, who in his attempt to clear, flummoxed his own advancing keeper Vicky Baskaran, missing with his right and faintly touching the ball with his leading left foot. As the ball advanced further, Dicka had not given up the pursuit and tapped home from close.
After the break, Churchill seemed to have regained composure and pressed on for the equaliser but despite some close chances, could not manage to find the Bagan net.
Bagan, meanwhile, had a solid punch by Omar Elhusseiny on the half hour mark saved by Baskaran. After having a good game for quite a while, central defender Eze Kingsley was adjudged to have brought down substitute Wolfe inside the box. And the Trinidadian calmy converted from the spot to beat keeper Shilton Paul and regain parity.
It remained the same till the end and both teams will rue another missed opportunity at a win, something that has characterised both of their seasons.
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