Churchill thrash Gokulam Kerala 3-1

VASCO: Churchill Brothers moved to the second place with a dominating 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in the I-League here Thursday.
The Dawda Cessay-Willis Plaza combination has proved to be very effective for the Goan giants this 12th Hero I-League season and the duo was again on the scoresheet at the Tilak Maidan. Marcus Joseph, Kerala’s latest attacking recruit from Trinidad & Tobago, did get a goal on his debut to give the visitors an early lead, but it was not enough on the day. Churchill have 22 points from 12 games to be two behind leaders Chennai, while Gokulam, after suffering their sixth defeat in as many matches, find themselves stuck on eighth with 10 points.
Plaza scored his 10th and 11th goals of the league in the game to also go right back on top of the scorer’s chart, having momentarily lost it to Pedro Manzi of Chennai, who has 10. Both teams made wholesale changes to their starting XI from their previous game. Gokulam, in fact, made as many as six prominent changes, among them being Marcus Joseph, the striker having been drafted in over the last 48 hours in place of Nigerian Joel Sunday. Fabricio Ortiz also made a comeback from suspension and took his place at centre-back while Arnab Das Sharma started in goal replacing Shibinraj.
Churchill made four changes but two of them were the coming back from injuries of central defender Hussein Eldor and right back Wayne Vaz. Romanian coach Petre Gigiu also started Dawda Cessay, Willis Plaza and Anthony Wolfe altogether upfront in a rare move.
Bino George’s Gokulam got an early lead thanks to a goalkeeping blooper by James Kithan and Marcus had to wait just 14 minutes to score his first in the I-League. An ambitious strike from him from more than 30 yards out, seemed headed harmlessly for Kithan to collect, but the keeper embarrassed himself, letting it slip through his legs. Churchill turned on the heat after conceding and Plaza got a golden chance off another goalkeeping error, this time, at the other end, but, missed the target. (PTI)

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