Churchill puts a spoke in Chennai City FC’s wheelMarch 3, 2019, Coimbatore, Chennai
Any plans Chennai City FC had of celebrating a title win has been put on hold.
Requiring victory to bag the I-League crown, Chennai City lost to a superior Churchill Brothers 3-2 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here on Friday. With 40 points, the table topper has to wait till March 9 and hope to put it past Minerva at Coimbatore.
Churchill came up with an attractive and attacking game, while CCFC was way below par. Of CCFC’s two goals, one came via a deflection off the ‘Wall’ through a free-kick by Sandro and the other a penalty conversion by Pedro Manzi.
For Churchill, striker Willis Plaza scored a brace to complete 20 goals and is in contention for the Golden Boot award with Manzi.
Churchill equalised 10 minutes after Sandro’s goal. A fine cross by Nicholas from the left was wonderfully directed into goal by a sliding Plaza. There were several anxious moments for CCFC early in the first half, and it should consider itself lucky not to have conceded more goals.
The second session followed a pretty much similar pattern. Plaza had an open goal but hit wide over the post. Churchill then surged ahead through a brilliant strike by Lorougnon. The Ivory Coast forward struck a blinder after receiving a pass from Wayne Vaz.
Plaza scored the match-winner with a fierce shot from the centre after taking a fine pass from Khalid Aucho. Not content, Churchill continued to attack, but missed several chances.
CCFC head coach Akbar Nawas cited the bouncy pitch as one of the reasons for the defeat.
“There was no pressure on our team. The pitch was difficult to play on, it was bouncy. It is not good for competitive football. But full credit to Churchill. They were better,” he said.
Churchill coach Petre Gigiu was magnanimous in victory. “I am sure Chennai City will become champion.”
The result: Churchill Brothers 3 (Willis Plaza 38 & 71, Christ Remi Loroungon 50) bt Chennai City FC 2 (Sandro 29, Pedro Manzi 69).