I-League 2021: Churchill Brothers held by Aizawl FC; Mohammedan Sporting draw against Neroca FC

Both the teams create scoring chances but the match ended in a stalemate as neither side was able to convert inside the box.

Press Trust of India February 03, 2021 21:36:51 IST
I-League 2021: Churchill Brothers held by Aizawl FC; Mohammedan Sporting draw against Neroca FC

Action from Churchill Brothers' match against Aizawl FC. Twitter@ILeagueOfficial

Kalyani: Table-toppers Churchill Brothers were held to a goalless draw by former champions Aizawl FC in an I-League match at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Wednesday.

Both the teams create scoring chances but the match ended in a stalemate as neither side was able to convert inside the box.

With the draw, Churchill Brothers retained their pole position, while Aizawl FC can slip down the table, depending on how TRAU fare on Thursday.

Shortly before kick-off, Churchill Brothers' head coach Fernando Varela was awarded the Coach of the Month award for January and minutes into the match, the Red Machines tried to take an early advantage.

However, Churchill Brothers missed the services of top-scorer Clayvin Zuniga, who didn't play due to an injury.

In the eighth minute, Aizawl's custodian almost bundled the ball into his own net after Bryce Miranda's swirling corner kick caught him off guard.

In the 10th minute, MC Malsawmzuala's free-kick from 25 yards rattled the woodwork and came back into play as Churchill survived.

But perhaps the best opportunity of the first half fell to Churchill midfielder Shubert Pereira five minutes after.

Pereira was found by a long ball inside Aizawl box and the midfielder twisted and turned his marker before unleashing a curling shot. The shot earned an equally good save by the Aizawl custodian.

With Churchill Brothers playing a high line and dominating possession, Aizawl FC tried to press from the front and win the ball higher up the field.

Half chances fell equally for both teams but decent saves by the goalkeepers meant that neither could take the lead. Churchill missed the spark of creativity upfront with Luka Majcen playing as the lone striker flanked by Bryce Miranda and Shubert Periera.

Just before half-time, Shubert Periera's long-range attempt from distance saw a good save by the Aizawl custodian.

In the 56th minute, Aizawl FC had a golden opportunity to go ahead when Zuala found Ramhlunchhunga inside the box with a long through-ball.

The midfielder, however, skied his volley with only the opposition custodian to beat. Aizawl FC pressed Churchill Brothers in an attempt to steal three points but were largely kept at bay.

Half chances came for Luka Majcen but the forward failed to make the most out of them.

With Churchill missing three of their starting XI players, the Red Machines tried to salvage a point from the match and committed bodies in defence.

Aizawl FC had a late chance to take the lead in the 85th minute when MC Zuala rose above his marking defender and unleashed a thunderous header which went just wide of the goal.

Mohammedan Sporting in stalemate with Neroca FC

Mohammedan Sporting's woes in front of goal continued as they played out their fourth straight draw in the I-League with a goalless stalemate against Neroca FC  on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Shubham Roy made crucial saves to deny the Manipuri side a win.

Mohammedan made four changes after their goalless draw against Punjab FC, bringing in Faisal Ali, Arijit Bagui, Sanjib Ghosh and Suraj Rawat.

Neroca, who had lost 1-2 to Aizawl, also made a bunch of changes, with Shoaib Akhtar, Gobin Singh, Varun Thokchom, Benjamin Lupheng, Manjit Sharma and Deepak Singh all coming into the playing eleven.

ILeague 2021 Churchill Brothers held by Aizawl FC Mohammedan Sporting draw against Neroca FC

The earliest sight of goal came in the fourth minute when Sanjib Ghosh's long ranger was saved with ease by Neroca keeper Bishrojit Singh.

The first chance of the game fell to Khangam Horam in the 28th minute but the Neroca striker could not find the target with his header.

Five minutes later, Mohammedan found an opening through SK Faiaz's cross but Neroca's Shoaib Akhtar read it well and cleared it before the Black Panthers attackers could pounce on it.

Mohammedan made a late push in the first half for the opening goal through Faisal Ali but he could not find any of his teammates at the key moment.

The game turned into a physical battle as at the end of the first half both teams committed as many as 20 fouls.

Mohammedan came out with attacking intent in the early minutes of the second half. They won a string of corners but hardly troubled the Orange Brigade backline.

They again troubled the Neroca defence in the 57th minute as Arjit Bagui's cross found Sanjib Ghosh in the centre of the box. However, the midfielder's volley hardly caused any trouble.

Neroca came closest to scoring in the 70th minute after Songpu Singsit was fouled just outside the area by Asheer Akhtar. Jiteshwor Singh's shot from the free-kick, however, skimmed the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick.

Mohammedan held most of the possession but it was Neroca who looked more likely to score on the counter.

Khangam Horam pounced on a long clearance and if it weren't for Shubham Roy's outstretched hand, he would have scored a late winner.

The Black Panthers then woke up and forced two saves from Bishorjit Singh, first  through substitute Gourav Mukhi's long-range shot followed by Hira Mondal's troubling cross.

Neroca pushed for a late winner but Shubham Roy again denied Judah Garcia in the 87th minute.

After the drawn match, Mohammedan took their points tally to seven, staying in the top six, while Neroca now have five points from five games.

Updated Date:

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