Churchill Brothers won the Goan Derby beating Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 to lift the 35th edition of the Federation Cup football for the first time.
In the final played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, Balwant Singh (21’), Alesh Sawant (47’) and Abdel Hamid Shabana (65’) scored for the team from Varca in South Goa, as they laid their hands on this coveted trophy for the first time.
Victorino Fernandes (67’) reduced the margin for Sporting, who were unlucky for the third time in a final.
‘It has been the hard work of the entire team, and I should make a special mention of Shanaha who has been the main playmaker while Balwant has been outstanding,’ said Mariona Dias, coach of Churchill Brothers.
Placed in the bottom on the I-league, Churchill Brothers were rated as underdogs but returned unscratched in this 35th edition of the championship.
“No excuses, my boys played well, but the it was the 130-odd minutes of the semifinal which went into the extra time before they prevailed 3-2 against Dempo SC, took the toll on them,” Oscar Bruzon, the Sporting coach.
Churchill think tank retained the same side which won the semifinal against Mohun Bagan while Sporting brought in Gonzalo Neila to replace Matthew Gonsalves in the defence.
In the 21st minute Balwant Singh put the Churchill brothers ahead. He took advantage of lack of understanding between defender Joyner Lourenco and keeper Ravi Kumar and slotted home a goal.
It was not a good day for custodian Ravi, who was outstanding against Dempo on Friday. In the 47th, he fumbled in his attempt to collect and Alesh Sawant grabbed the opportunity to put Churchill 2-0 ahead.
Shabana, who was doing the spadework for the Brothers, scored in the 65th minute. He collected a Thangjam Singh assist and placed it past Ravi Kumar.
Victorino Fernandes managed to decrease the margin in the 67th minuteby tapping in Kalu’s through pass before Churchill Goalkeeper Lalit Thapa could intercept it. But it little to change the fortunes of the team.
Churchill Brothers bagged a purse of Rs 25 lakh while Sporting Clube, who proved to be third time unlucky were richer by Rs 15 lakh.