Opara hat-trick propels Churchill Brothers
Churchill Brothers 5 (ND Opara – 8th, 26th, 52nd; Bineesh Balan – 39th, 75th)
Sporting Clube de Goa 0
MARGAO: Man-of-the-match Ndubuisi Opara scored a hat-trick as Churchill Brothers Sports Club capitalised on a weak Sporting Clube de Goa defence to register a 5-0 win at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda.
Churchill were hungry for a win after losing their last match against Pune FC, and they made their intentions right from the start when Opara opened the account in the eighth minute itself. From there on, it was Churchill Brothers all the way as Opara completed his hat-trick and substitute Bineesh Balan added two more goals to complete Churchill’s biggest win of the season. Churchill led 3-0 at the change of ends.
Much of Sporting Clube’s woes were a result of poor defending. With Samananda Singh left on the bench, Sporting’s make shift defensive pairing could not withstand the pressure.
Churchill surged ahead in the eigth minute when Lalrindika Ralte’s feeble shot was deflected of Adil Khan’s legs only to Opara who, given an open passage, lost no time in finding the back of the net.
Opara made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when Bineesh Balan’s cross was headed towards the goal by Mohammad Rafi. The ball, however, hit the crossbar and rebounded nicely into the path of Opara who only had to guide it into the goal.
Balan then added his name to the scoresheet as he turned home Steven Dias’ remarkable cross from the right into the goal.
There was no respite for Sporting Clube in the second session as well as Opara complete his hat-trick eight minutes after resumption of play. Steven, once again came up with a well measured cross into the goalmouth, and Opara was provided with enough space and time to head home.
Balan made it 5-0 in the 75th minute as Rafi split the defence with a through ball and Balan completed the formalities.
The win took Churchill’s points tally to 26 points but with Dempo Sports Club also registering a win against HAL in Bangalore had to settle for the second spot.