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I-League 2023-24: Mohammedan Sporting inch closer to title with win over Churchill Brothers

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I-League 2023-24: Mohammedan Sporting inch closer to title with win over Churchill Brothers

Naihati (WB), March 13 (Ajit Weekly News) Mohammedan Sporting further extended their lead, taking a hard-fought 3-2 win against Churchill Brother in the I-League 2023-24 match at the Naihati Bakimanjali Stadium on Tuesday. The win puts Mohammedan eight points clear of the Sreenidi Deccan in second place, with five rounds of games left to play.

While Mohammedan Sporting are now placed comfortably at the top of the points table with 44 points from 19 matches, former champions Churchill Brothers remain stuck at a moderate 23 points after 19 outings.

While Eddie Hernandez (28’, 33’) and F. Lalremsanga (75’) scored for Mohammedan Sporting, Stendy Fernandes (10’) and Martin Chavez (51’, penalty) were the marksmen for Churchill.

In a shocking opening quarter of the game, Churchill Brothers grabbed control and at times their pace and brilliant movement off the ball, showed in equal amounts their ability but also how they had wasted it this season. When the first goal was scored in the 10th minute it was hardly a surprise, so dominant had Churchill been.

Lalremruata’s mazy dribbling run was seemingly brought to an end by a Mohamed Irshad tackle and clearance right at the edge of the box. Unfortunately, his clearance pinged back off a teammate right into the path of Stendly Fernandes.

The midfielder has been one of the bright spots of a drab season for Churchill and he didn’t disappoint. Setting himself up with his first touch he let the ball fly into the bottom left corner to give the visitors the lead.

It took Mohammedan a while to get going, but, as they have most of this season, once they did there was no stopping them. First the equaliser, in the 28th minute, was conjured up by Alexis Gomez through ball and a perfectly fizzed cross by Zodingliana from the left wing. Eddie Hernandez barely had to tap it in from five yards out.

Five minutes later, they had wrested the lead, this time the cross coming from the right via Lalremsanga. Hernandez had a lot more to do this time, rising high and also somehow putting massive power and perfect direction on his header to direct it home.

A rejuvenated Churchill hit back in the second half, and within six minutes Zodingliana went from hero to villain, his foul on Lalremruata gifting Churchill a penalty. Martin Chaves scored the spot kick to draw them level.

Just when it seemed like Mohammedan’s bubble had burst, Lalremsanga scored the most unlikely of goals, which may well be among their biggest this season. Having been played through on the right side of the box by Gomez, the Mizo winger shot feebly at goal in the 75th minute.

It was a weal shot but it bounced right in front of a diving Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, before hitting the inside of the post and rolling in. Mohammedan clutched onto that slender lead to the final whistle.

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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