Churchill end Mahindra's undefeated run

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Goa's league champions Zee Churchill carve out a 2-1 victory to end Mahindra's unbeaten dream run in a National Football League.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Two stunning drives in each half by medios Noel Wilson and Roque Barretto ended Mahindra's unbeaten dream run and enabled Goa's league champions Zee Churchill to carve out a 2-1 victory in a National Football League match here today. Zee Churchill, who held territorial advantage and better scoring chances in the first half, drew first blood in the 4th minute when a 40-yard long ranger left keeper Virender Singh surprised as the ball struck the left upright before finding the net. They increased the lead in the 61st minute when Roque Barretto after getting the ball in the middle from Yakub, dribbled past two defenders and essayed a rasping left footer that beat Virender to his right to find the far post. Zee Churchill could have won by a bigger margin had their strikers utilised the close chances that came their way in both the sessions. Mahindras, who failed to find their bearings in the first half, came back strongly in the second half and reduced the margin through a penalty taken by Khalid Jamil after substitute Raman Vijayan was bought down by defender Osumanu Husseini inside the box. Mahindras went all out in the closing stages in search of the equaliser but the rival defence led by Osumanu and Mahesh Gowali gave nothing away. Zee Churchill now join Salgaocar, Mahindras and Vasco who have 12 points from seven matches. They are placed second after Salgaocar on account of better goal difference and are followed by Mahindras and Vasco. Vaso upset East Bengal 1-0 Goa's Vasco Sports Club put up a spectacular performance to emerge as giant killers edging out title holders East Bengal 1-0 in a sixth National Football league exchange in Kolkata today. A spirited Goa not only held on to an early goal by Peter Rodrigues, but also put their stamp of authority in the match by coming within a whisker of scoring at least thrice. The visitors showed better understanding to find gaping loopholes in the ragtag East Bengal defence. In the tenth minute, wing back Surya Chakraborty tried to find stopper Suley Musah who failed to follow the ball and Vasco medio Satish Minz was quick to intercept. He essayed a through for Rodrigues who shot home from top of the six yard box to the right of East Bengal custodian Hemanta Dora. East Bengal, whose moves lacked cohesion early on, tried to regroup after the reverse and held sway midway into the opening session, but the Goans soon bounced back with their players swiftly changing positions to pulverise their rivals. The locals again tried to seize the initiative early in the second session, but faded out as time wore on. In the 60th minute, Dora had to throw himself on to the ground to thwart a Seby Dias header, while Brazilian Rui Wanderley Weis and Satish Minz muffed up golden opportunities for Vasco minutes from the final whistle. After playing 12 matches, Vasco and East Bengal now have 12 and 10 points respectively. (PTI)

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