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      I-league 2014

Eric brace helps United SC 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Churchill Brothers

United Sports Club will continue in top-flight football !!

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19th April’14, GOA : Team United would be the happiest family of the world after United Sports clinched a monumental victory over Churchill Brothers SC at Nehru Stadium, Goa on today. Eric Brown scored a brace and more importantly, the defense line kept another clean sheet to gain the away win against Churchill Brothers. After the win, United SC are clearly out of the relegation threat, but Churchill Brothers are still struggling to avoid the wooden spoon. United SC has amassed 26 points from 23 matches, while Churchill Brothers are still staggering with tad 22 points from as many outings. This gigantic win lifted United SC to 9th position in the I-League table, just over city rival Mohun Bagan.

Subrata Bhattacharya on the other hand opted to make as many as three changes with Sangram Mukherjee, Deepak Mandal and Biswajit Biswas making way for Abhijt Singh,Lalkamal Bhowmick and Sukhen Dey.

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Both the teams started off cautiously to keep the major share of ball possession and United SC culminated it in the first half. Waheed Adakunle smacked the ball on the 5th minute, but unfortunately could not find the back of the net. After a couple of minutes the home team suddenly got the hold of the ball and developed a marvelous opportunity courtesy Saran and Lenny, but as Denzil got the ball the pace in their attack decreases, he eventually squandered the scoring opportunity. Balwant Singh had the first shot for the Red Machines on the 11th minute, but the calm header was easily collected by the United Goalie Abhijit. United could hold their nerves and kept the goal safe, kudos to their defense line and custodian. Lenny Rodrigues, Balwant Singh and Saran Singh mingled superbly and attacked time and again, eventually fell astray in the United SC penalty box. The United SC game maker Eric Brown suddenly dribbled and got into a good position to shoot, but he skied the ball over the woodwork.


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Though the game had been a lazy affair in the first half, Churchill had some serious scoring opportunity while they fired back to back attacks, thanks to Lenny Rodrigues and Balwant Singh. The Egyptian game changer, Shabana hammered from just outside the box which was nowhere close to the net. United Sports Club had to defend too deep which left Churchill Brothers no other options but to take only long shots from outside the box. On the 37th minute, Shabana hurt his team most while he had a rash tackle and the referee P.Singh did not hesitate to book him 2nd time, hence he had to go off, which added massive woes to the home team.

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Just after the break, Churchill Brothers had a superb attack, but could find Abhijit’s safe hands finally. On the 49th minute, Eric Brown unleashed a lethal header, while Thapa had no answer at all and eventually the deadlock has been unlocked. Sukhen Dey got the deadly assist which was converted by the Liberian successfully. On the 63rd minute, Purple bench had their first substitution while Baldeep Singh joined the party in expense of midfielder Mohammed Rafique. United defense line has been extremely successful to keep Balwant and Anthony Wolfe coy and to nullify their deadly attacking moves.  Red Machines were inches closer to find the equalizer while Anthony Wolfe smacked a shot which was denied by the woodwork. Suddenly the referee stopped the play and ordered for a free kick in Churchill’s favour.

Churchill Brothers had no answer to Eric Brown while he nicely twirled the ball into the top half of the net, thanks to the palpable header from Raju. Mariano Dias had to go a little back foot and substituted his striker Jaison Vales, who was struggling a bit with Ashley Fenandes. Eric Brown had been the nemesis today and almost scored a hat-trick on 83rd minute, but the medio failed to dribble past Ravanan and subsequently relinquished the possession. 5 minutes was added after the regulation 90minutes, but Churchill Brothers could not convert any of the chances they created, eventually the tie went to the away team’s way.

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The game, which swayed in either half, finally went in Purple brigade’s way. Eric Brown, the linchpin, has been instrumental in the winning. They didn’t enjoy major ball possession surely, but also did not squander away the chances as their counterparts did. Therefore they had the last laugh over the defending champions. Churchill Brothers SC will take on Salgaocar FC in a local derby on 28th April, while they need at least a draw to avoid the relegation. United SC will lock their horns with East Bengal in a Kolkata derby on the same day.  The season has been a real tough one for the Purple outfit, but they showed their vigour and mettle at the moment and put up a courageous show to cement their I-League spot for the upcoming season.

So it's pretty simple now, the relegation battle is between Mohammedan Sporting who have 21 points and Churchill brothers who have 22 points.

United Sports Club can have a huge sigh of relief after this win. It takes them safe from relegation.

Man of the Match awarded Eric Brown for United SC.

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United Sports Club
  Goalz
 No Team Points Win Draw Loss
1 United Sports Club
9
3
0
0
2 Salgaocar FC
6
2
0
1
3 Royal Wahingdoh FC
3
1
0
0
4 Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools
0
0
0
3

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