Churchill Brothers picked up a dramatic 2-1 win against Aizawl FC on Saturday at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa.
Dawda Ceesay (73') handed the hosts the lead but Paul Ramfangzauva equalised for Aizawl (90+1'). Willis Plaza then scored the second goal in the 90+4' to seal full points for his team.
Churchill moved up to the fourth spot on the league table with 16 points from 10 matches whereas Aizawl remained seventh with 14 points from 12 matches.
Bernardo Tavares made four changes in the Churchill Brothers lineup which lost to Chennai City FC in their last match. Robert Primus, Khalif Alhassan, Lalkhawpuia Mawia (Mapuia) and Hafis Mohammedali replaced Suresh Meitei, Quan Gomes, Vinil Poojary and Willis Plaza.
It was an end-to-end affair right from the off as both teams played attacking football.
The first major chance fell to the hosts in the 18th minute of the match. Mapuia did well to cut in from the left flank and unleashed a long-range shot from 25 yards that hit the crossbar. Dawda Ceesay had a golden opportunity to tap the rebound into the net but he failed to keep the ball on target.
In the 24th minute, Aizawl’s Matias Veron made a run into the box from the right and squared the ball into the middle for Justice Morgan who in turn laid it off for Roccharzela. The Aizawl winger failed to find the back of the net from close-range.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute thanks to a world-class strike from Dawda Ceesay. Ceesay picked up a loose ball from Alfred Jaryan's misplaced pass in Aizawl's half and attempted a long-range shot from the edge of the box. The ball took a deflection off Joseph Adjei and dipped in.
Aizawl then restored parity in the first minute of the injury time thanks to a brilliant volley from Paul Ramfanfzauva from the edge of the box. Joe Zoherliana's long throw-in was poorly cleared by Glan Martins and the ball reached Paul who found the back of the net.
Just when it seemed the Goan side would once again drop points, Willis Plaza came to their rescue. Glan Martins entered the box from the right and sent a cross into the centre. Abu Bakr's effort on goal was stopped but Plaza tapped home the rebound.