Federation Cup 2017: East Bengal 1-1 Churchill Brothers

Photo: AIFF
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Churchill Brothers held East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the Federation Cup on Sunday. East Bengal broke the deadlock in the 65th minute after Wedson Anselme brushed past three Churchill defenders to slot past the goalkeeper.

But Churchill proved to be no pushovers. They found a late equaliser when Ghanefo Kromah scored from inside the penalty box after East Bengal ‘keeper T.P Rehnesh failed to clear a low-cross.

East bengal opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Willis Plaza leading the lines and Wedson Anselme deployed behind him. Rowllin Borges and Mehtab Hossain were the central midfielders with Nikhil Poojary and Bikash Jairu deployed on the wings.

On the other hand, Churchill started with an all-Indian backline of Keenan Almeida, Adil Khan, Rowilson Rodrigues and Seriton Fernandes while Ansumana Kromah and Anthony Wolfe took up the attacking duties.

The first half of the match witness its fair share of chances, with neither team managing to make much out of it. Still, it was East Bengal who dominated exchanges in the opening half. The first chance of the game came in the 12th minute when Willis Plaza strode into the box before getting a shot away. But Naveen Kumar was alert enough and palmed away the shot.

The Churchill shot-stopper again came to the rescue Derrick Pereira’s men when he keept out Anselme’s effort in the 19th minute. A few minutes later, East Bengal ‘keeper Subashish Roy had to make a fine save after Anthony Wolfe sprinted clear and tried to lob him. Just past the hour mark, Willis Plaza failed to get his head to an inviting cross from Poojary and Churchill almost scored off the ensuing counter. Kromah was sent clear this time but his shot was straight at the East Bengal ‘keeper.

East Bengal face Chennai City while Churchill face league champions, Aizawl FC on 9th May at 4 and 7 pm rspectively.