Churchill Brothers took full advantage of a weak Chirag United defence to register a 5-3 away win in a round 13 I-League match at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on saturday.
Kayne Vincent, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, struck a brace (10th and 78th), while Steven Dias (21st), Boima Karpeh (49th) and Amauri Neto (70th) fired one each in the high-octane clash.
Chirag United reduced the margin through Elijah Junior (19th and 65th) and Malswamtulunga (57th).
The Goan giants with 26 points are now clinging to third spot on the table as the big win meant that they have the highest goal difference (19), having scored 33 goals already.
Chirag United have 18 points and are placed at the seventh spot.
Playing without their star striker and the leading goal scorer of the tournament, Odafa Okolie, who is nursing an injury, Churchill Brothers took an early lead when their New Zealand recruit fired in from a Dias pass.
But Chirag scored an equaliser through Junior after Denson Devadas set it up in the midfield.
In fact, Chirag could have taken a lead but Jerry Zirsangha's nice shot was thwarted by Churchill goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya.
Churchill led 2-1 at halftime. After the break, Karpeh struck from an Amauri pass four minutes into the second period to lead the goal rush as Churchill took a 3-1 lead.
But Chirag made it 2-3 with Malswamtulunga finding the net in the 57th minute from a Gouranga Dutta cross from the left.
A penalty in favour of Chirag then helped them bring the match on an even keel.
In a 64th minute, Joshimar's header from a Lalkamal Bhowmick's cross found Churchill defender L Robert's hand inside the box as referee Deepak Singh awarded the penalty in home team's favour.
Junior struck from the spot to make it 3-3 but the listless Chirag United defence failed to hold off the attack and let in two goals.
Amauri broke the deadlock in a 70th minute goal, while eight minutes later Vincent put the final nail in the coffin for the eighth goal of the match.