Plaza-led Churchill down Real Kashmir
- Star striker Willis Plaza scored as Churchill Brothers defeated Real Kashmir 2-1 in a crucial I-League clash.
19th February 2020, Goa: Star striker Willis Plaza scored as Churchill Brothers defeated Real Kashmir 2-1 in a crucial I-League clash on Wednesday.
The win at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium helped the Goan side rise to the third spot in the standings.
Trinidadian Plaza opened the scoring with an 11th-minute penalty. He then assisted Lalkhawpuimawia to net Churchill's second goal in the 20th minute.
Robin Singh, who signed for RKFC in the January transfer window, scored his first goal for his new club in the 82nd minute to reduce the margin.
The win, Churchill's second on the trot, helped them to 19 points from 11 games, four more than RKFC, who plummeted to the seventh spot.
Speaking on the overall match performance of Snow Leopards, Real Kashmir FC co-owner Sandeep Chattoo said “Since from the inception of match RKFC tried to showcase quality game, however after the penalty kick in 11th minute, Churchill Brothers dominated in the first half.”
“But in the second half we played really good football, Robin Singh’s header was highlight of the match, although luck was not with us today”, he added.
Churchill had earlier defeated Aizawl FC 2-1. It was RKFC's second successive defeat, having gone down 0-1 to second-placed Punjab (21 points from 13 matches) in their last game. Mohun Bagan (29 points from 12 matches) lead the standings.
Churchill made four changes to their starting line-up while RKFC coach David Robertson made three changes with Dalraj Singh, Brian Mascarenhas and Danish Farooq replacing Novin Gurung, Chesterpoul Lyngdoh and Kallum Higginbotham.
Churchill attacked from the first whistle and didn't have to wait long, as Plaza netted from the spot after a handball by Dalraj Singh.
The home team dominated the proceedings with Plaza being the most lively player on the pitch.
He set up the second goal, setting up Lalkhawpuimawia who fired into the top right corner to double his side's lead.
Real Kashmir came close to reducing the margin in the 26th minute. But Mason Robertson's attempt got blocked from close range. Kallum Higginbotham also came close with a shot in the 41st minute.
Higginbotham and Bazie Armand kept the Churchill defence busy in the second half.
But they couldn't find a way until Robin converted a long diagonal ball. But that goal was not enough for RKFC to get something out of the match.
RKFC's next match is against Indian Arrows on Feb 24 in Srinagar while Churchill next host Mohun Bagan.
Published 20 Feb 2020, 09:39 IST