Hero Super Cup Qualifiers: Willis Plaza scores brace as Churchill defeat Delhi Dynamos

Churchill Brothers registered a 2-1 come from behind victory over Delhi Dynamos in the first match of the Hero Super Cup 2018 which got underway in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on Thursday.

Hero Super Cup

Riding on a brace from Trinidadian Willis Plaza, Churchill now enter the main draw of the tournament scheduled to begin on March 31 and will face Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in the Pre-Quarters. The Goan outfit overcame a cautious start to get over the line in extra-time, after Kalu Uche had given the Delhi side a fifth minute lead.

At the Kalinga Stadium, Churchill, who were placed ninth in the Hero I-League and faced relegation, upset the six match unbeaten run of the Indian Super League outfit. The Lions got a goal as early as the fifth minute when Kalu Uche, latched on to a ball just outside the box on the left after a neat 1-2 with Nandhakumar, before unleashing a pile-driver leaving Churchill custodian Ricardo Cardozo hopelessly out of position.

Delhi continued to dominate posession. Romeo Fernandez found Uche again in the 12th minute with a wonderful cross bringing out a neat save from Cardozo. A minute later, Lalianzuala Changte missed with a clear sight at goal from inside the box. Churchill slowy started to find their feet into the game.  In the 29th minute, Britto cut in from the right and found Nicolas free from what appeared to be a deflected cross off a Delhi Dynamos defender, inside the box. His neat trapping and finish was disallowed for off-side.

In the 32nd minute, Churchill restored parity when Plaza controlled the ball with a superb first touch to drill it at the near post.  A feeble effort from Changte during added time was collected easily as the teams went into the lemon break.

Also Read: Mumbai City FC are not taking ‘Agile’ Arrows lightly

Churchill bolstered their midfield by bringing Israel Gurung for Yendremban Meitei at the start of the second half. Meanwhile Delhi had also effected a substitution with Seityasen Singh replacing Romeo Fernandez in the midfield. Both sides created opportunities and missing with equal disdain. Mirabaje’s effort from a free kick in the 56th minute sailed over while Plaza’s 61st minute brought about a good save from Irueta.

While Delhi were still ahead in possession and were pressing hard, their efforts to weave through the Churchill defense lacked enough imagination and penetration. Churchill on the other hand seemed to have embarked upon a strategy of soaking in the pressure and trying to release Plaza with the long ball from their own half, which was causing problems for the Delhi defence.

Both sides tried hard for the winner and effected their second substitions in the 85th minute. Churchill got in Oneyama for Bektur while Delhi replaced Changte with David Ngaihte. It was still Plaza, who by the end of 90+4 minutes of added time who had not only created but also missed the most chances to score for both sides.

As expected a very sluggish first 15 minutes of extra time saw both teams creating half-chances at best, but Willis Plaza breathed life into the second, when at the very start of it, an innocuous long ball from Jovel Martins from deep inside the Churchill defence, saw Plaza trap beautifully over two defenders inside the Delhi box and neatly wrong-foot the Delhi keeper to beat him again at the near post. His 106th minute strike thereby, securing the win for the I-League side.

Also Read: Despite criticism, Jeje stands out for Chennaiyin

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updated on Indian Football

Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…


Millat FC to hold trials for MFA Elite Premier League

Millat FC – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season Millat had a decent run in…


MFA Elite Division club KSA to conduct trials for the upcoming season

Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season KSA had an amazing…