HERO I-LEAGUE: Cessay-Plaza score as Churchill outclass Gokulam

Goa, January 10, 2019: Dawda Cessay and Willis Plaza combined to help Churchill Brothers beat Gokulam Kerala 3-1 in their 12th Hero I-League game at the Tilak Maidan on Thursday.

The win takes Churchill to second spot in the points table.

Though Marcus Joseph did get a goal on debut still Bino George’s team suffered a sixth loss in as many games. Churchill are now two points behind league leaders Chennai while Gokulam are in eighth spot.

Plaza scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season to go to the top of the goal-scoring charts (he had temporarily lost it to Chennai’s Pedro Manzi). Both teams made wholesale changes to their starting XI.

Gokulam brought in six new names which also included new-recruit Marcus Joseph (for Joel Sunday).

Center-back Fabricio Ortiz made a comeback from suspension while Arnab Das Sharma played in goal.

In contrast, Churchill was forced to bring in new names due to injuries to Hussein Eldor and Wayne Vaz.

Dawda Cessay, Willis Plaza and Anthony Wolfe were paired upfront.

Gokulam got the lead in the 14th minute when James Kithan embarrassingly let in Joseph’s 30-yard strike through his legs!

Churchill almost equalized (after another goalkeeping gaffe!) if it were not for Plaza’s miss from outside the box!

Pritam Singh’s miss off a sitter highlighted Gokulam’s laxity in front of goal.

Cessay leveled the game with a thunderous left-footed strike in the 37th minute.

George was forced to replace an injured but in-form Rajesh with Mohammad Rashid in the second-half.

He had earlier brought in Abhishek Das for Jestin George.

Churchill who attacked relentlessly were frustrated by the heroics of Das Sharma in the second-half.

Willis Plaza got his 10th goal of the season with a stabbed volley off a cross from the right in the 56th minute.

Plaza scored his second (and Churchill’s third) with a fine solo effort in the first minute of injury time.

Dawda Cessay was named as the ‘Hero of the Match’.

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