Mapusa: Henri Arnaud hit a brace in Churchill Brothers Sports Club's impressive 3-1 victory over Pailan Arrows in an I-League clash at Duler Stadium here. After a barren first session, Prathamesh Maulingkar gave Pailan Arrows a stunning lead in the 57th minute but within the next eight minutes, Pailan Arrows crumbled in the face of some sustained onslaught from the opposition.
Gabonese striker Henri scored two goals in three minutes and then Israil Gurung added his name to the score-sheet as the hosts won the second match on the trot at Duler's artificial turf. The win helped Churchill take the sole lead with 31 points from 13 matches, three points clear of Pune FC who lost on Wednesday against Prayag United, while Pailan Arrows were stuck to the eighth spot with 14 points from as many matches.
Churchill who made a change by bringing in Akram Mogharabi in place of Henri antchuouet failed to create impact upfront in the first half. A Ajay Singh's header that went wide from close was the only noteworthy chance for the home team. Arrows who also made a change in their starting line-up bringing in Prathamesh Maulingar in place of Ranjinder, looked more resourceful, had quite a few attempts on goal although not really threatening.
In the second session, Arrows surged ahead in the 57th minute when Prathamesh headed Milan Singh's corner that created confusion in the Churchill goalmouth. Unperturbed by the setback Churchill took the fight into the rival camp and equalised in the 60th minute when a long ball from Steven Dias was tapped by Beto in the path of Henri who only had to beat the goalkeeper Soram Angamba.
The goal dampened the spirit of the visitors as their defence crumbled under pressure as they conceded two more goals to end the contest. Three minutes later Beto and Henri combined again to put Churchill in the lead for the first time. By the 65th minute, all was over for Pailan Arrows as a quick counter move saw Henri lay the ball in the path of Gurung who did well to keep his marker at an arms length and make it 3-1.