I-League 2017/18: Churchill Brothers vs Kingfisher East Bengal, Player Ratings
Churchill Brothers faced off against Hero I-League table toppers East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Monday.
This fixture marked the clash of the top side in the league against the bottom side as Churchill Brothers aimed to get their season on track. East Bengal lead the standings with 17 points from eight matches whereas Churchill Brothers were yet to open their account in the league.
However, the match presented a different picture. Churchill Brothers managed to register their first point of the season as they held the Kolkata-based outfit to a 1-1 draw. The Goan side's new signing Mechac Koffi equalized in the 75th minute with a sublime finish after Joby Justin had put East Bengal ahead in the 26th minute. The Red and Golds, though, are still perched on the top of the table.
Here are the player ratings:
James Kithan (6.5/10) - The Churchill keeper had a tough night between the sticks as he had to deal with the attacking threat of the Kolkata giants. Katsumi Yusa, Joby Justin and Mahmoud Al-Amna were barraging the Churchill goal.
Jovel Martins (6/10) - The new signing on loan from FC Goa had a busy debut tonight as he had the tough job of marking pacey winger Laldanmawia Ralte. He was called into action in the defence throughout the match and could not really go forward with the ball.
Monday Osagie (7/10) - The centre-back was perhaps the only defender for Churchill on the field who did well against the rampaging East Bengal attack. He used his physicality well during the setpieces and made a couple of crucial clearances.
Suraj Singh (6/10) - Churchill skipper had a poor showing. He was the culprit for the first goal conceded by the Goans when Justin got the better of him. The captain's second-half performance was better as he helped his team from conceding any further goals.
Wayne Vaz (6.5/10) - Another new signing for the Goan side, on loan from ISL side FC Pune City, Vaz was kept busy throughout the duration of the match with Yusa running rounds around him on the flanks. He did make a couple of overlapping runs but his crossing wasn't up to the mark.
PM Britto (6.5/10) - The right winger tried his best to get past the strong East Bengal defence but struggled against Salam Singh who got the better of him on most occasions.
Kalu Ogba (7/10) - The midfielder was struggling to get going as the entire Churchill midfield was dominated by the East Bengal midfield. Ogba had a couple of efforts at the East Bengal goal but could not threaten Barreto.
Peter Omoduemuke (7/10) - The midfielder was responsible for spreading out the play from the centre and was successful on few occasions. He had a good effort on the East Bengal goal but his volley went just wide.
Nicholas Fernandes (8/10) - Fernandes was the brightest spark for the Goan side on the pitch. He kept pressing on the left flank with good movement and kept the East Bengal right-back Chullova alert at all times.
Uttam Rai (7/10) - The Churchill attacker was quite active with his off the ball movement and persistence but struggled to get past the strong East Bengal centre-back pairing of Ferreria and Mondal.
Mechac Koffi (8.5/10) - The big Ivorian striker had a dream debut for Churchill Brothers as he managed to get his name on the scoresheet. Koffi scored a superb goal, curling the ball past Barreto, who had no chance of stopping the effort. He was quiet for the most part of the match but performed when it counted the most, thereby winning the 'Hero of the Match' on his I-League debut.
Pawan Kumar (5/10) - The young loanee from ISL franchise FC Pune City was brought on for the final 15 minutes and replaced Kalu Ogba in the midfield.
Israil Gurung (NA) - The experienced man came on in the final minutes of the match as he replaced PM Britton in the midfield.