Vasco: In a game marred by bad referee decisions, Mechac Koffi’s 21st minute strike was the difference as Churchill Brothers continued it’s winning spree with another 1-0 victory over defending champions Aizwal FC at the Tilak Maidan here on Tuesday.
“(We were denied) two clear penalties,” said Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes whose side could have put the game to bed well earlier had a few referee decisions gone their way.
The ‘Red Machines’ remained seventh but are now equal on points with the sixth placed Aizawl FC. Both have accumulated 16 points so far from 12 games but all the five wins for Churchill have come in 2018 including the 1-1 draw against East Bengal.
Churchill completely dominated the match with more ball-possession but Aizawl had bounced back in the final quarter often pushing the opposition into their own half. But the hosts held on to record their successive victories in their own soil.
But depite Churchill’s early dominance, it was the visitors who found the net first. Masih Saighani had headed the ball into the net but the referee disallowed the goal because the ball had already gone out of play.
Koffi netted a goal on the other side after receiving a long ball Nicholas Fernandes who out muscled the Aizwal defenders to get inside the box and slot home past a hapless Avilash Paul.
The Ivorian could have added a second, minutes later when Ceesay found him with a through ball but shot straight at the keeper, much to the disappointment of the away homes.
Aizawl could have played almost most of the second-half with nine men after both Saighani and Albert Zohmingmawia lunged into the Churchill forwards. But while the officials denied penalties on two occasions he didn’t hesitate to go for the third.
The visitors were however playing with 10 men in the 80th minute after Lalrosanga was given marching orders for another harsh tackle on Dawda Ceesay.