Margao: Churchill Brothers demolished Sporting Clube de Goa 8-4 in a high-scoring encounter as they came on level terms with Dempo after 11th round I-League encounter at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. Bineesh Balan struck a hat-trick in the first 40 minutes while Gabonese striker Henri and talented Brazilian midfielder Beto scored two goals each.
Lebanese striker Akram Moghrabi also joined the scoring party as the team registered their biggest win this season. For Clube, diminutive Joseph Pereira scored two goals while Ogba Kalu and Japanese striker Seiya Sugishita scored the other two. The big victory meant Churchill Brothers are now tied on points with defending champions Dempo Sports Club at the top of the table but will continue to be placed second due to their inferior head to head record with the defending champions.
Churchill Brothers coach Mariano Dias is pleased with his team's performance as they, at one stage, were a goal down despite taking a ninth minute lead through Bineesh. Ogba Kalu scored with a stunning long ranger to bring the team on level terms before another beautiful team goal from Joseph Pereira meant Sporting Club were now ahead and that too inside the first half an hour itself.
The speedy Bineesh was in the form of his life, scoring goals almost at will. His curl from just outside the box was brilliant in the 44th minute and a minute later he completed his hat-trick. At the stroke of half time, Gabonese striker Henri made it 5-2 after the Sporting goalkeeper Agnelo Gomes erroneously laid the ball into the path of Henri for the simplest of goals. In the second session, Churchill's hunger for more goals was there for all to see.
Brazilian midfielder Roberto Mendes, who had a quiet game by his lofty standards, joined the scoring bandwagon when he was in the right place to put in an intelligent back heel from Henri. Beto scored his second and the team's seventh when the Brazilian punted the ball into the goal during a goalmouth melee while substitute Akram also helped himself to an easy goal with 10 minutes on the clock. In added time, Sporting Clube scored two goals in as many minutes as Joseph added another to his kitty and Japanese striker Seiya also helped himself to one goal.