GOA: The three-match winning run of Churchill Brothers in the Hero I-League came to a halt as Shillong Lajong held them to a 0-0 draw at the Tilak Maidan today before the Hero I-League will undergo an International break.
The point shared means both teams maintain their positions in the table with Lajong staying on fourth with 20 points and Churchill Brothers remain sixth with 16 points.
Expectedly, the game was a slow burner with Churchill Brothers having a slight domination over visitor Shillong Lajong. The first goal-scoring opportunity of the game came in the 10th minute when a foray into the box by Churchill skipper Anthony Wolfe saw the striker narrowly miss the goal when his swerving ground shot hit the far post. The rebound from Ghanefo Kromah was kept out by Lajong keeper Vishal Kaith.
Although Lajong were on the backfoot, Churchill were hardly threatening until a brilliant solo effort from Brandon Fernandes almost broke the deadlock.
Brandon was unlucky not to score in the 28th minute.
Finding himself in space 35 yards from goal, the winger unleashed a dipping pile-driver which had to be acrobatically tipped onto the crossbar by Kaith. The sheer force of the shot made the ball hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing just inches ahead of the goal line before being cleared.
Lajong failed to register a single shot on target but managed to keep Churchill at bay as the score at half-time was 0-0.
The second half saw Lajong venture forward more and had a half chance when Dipanda had a rebound shot saved by goalkeeper Naveen Kumar.
The Churchill keeper tried to kick away an acrobatic effort from Samuel Lalmuanpuia that ricocheted off Dipanda into Kumar’s path in the 54th minute.
Churchill had a nervy moment in the 60th minute as Lajong caused havoc in the Churchill box.
Asier controlled a cross from the back before taking it on the turn only for Keenan Almeida to keep the ball out with his outstretched legs. Fabio Henrique and Samuel tried to get on the rebound before the danger was cleared away by Keenan again.
The second half was an end to end affair with both teams stretching each other.
There was another nervy moment for Churchill when defender Adil Khan missed a routine clearance that allowed Dipanda to run clear on goal. Asier took his shot as Adil retrieved but Naveen managed to keep the shot out with his legs.
In the end, the two teams cancelled each other. Kaith was adjudged Hero of the match as the Lajong goalie had an impressive game between the posts for Lajong.