Henri Autchouet scored a first half penalty as Churchill Brothers registered a solitary goal victory over Mumbai FC at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.
The Gabon striker won and scored the penalty in the 29th minute and that proved to be the essential difference between the two sides in a tight game.
Mumbai FC have now lost all five of their matches since that opening win against Air India, but the visitors had opportunities at the start to capitalise and put Churchill Brothers under pressure.
Nicholas Rodrigues was the first culprit for Mumbai FC as the midfielder failed to tap the ball inside an empty net after Churchill goalkeeper Felix D’Souza had managed to block Cavin Lobo’s effort.
That move proved costly as Churchill took the lead almost immediately. Henri, who had the rival defenders on their toes throughout, controlled a Lalrindika Ralte ball from the centre, cut past several defenders and in an attempt to block the striker, Keegan Pereira found himself handling the ball while being on the ground. The referee was close by and lost no time in awarding a penalty which Henri gleefully converted.
Churchill saw more of the ball in the first session but their strikers, particularly ND Opara, was guilty of missing sitters. The Nigerian striker, in fact, missed two easy chances much to the chagrin of his coach Manuel Gomes and the supporters.
Mumbai FC did not have much strength upfront and whenever there was a move launched, their strikers came a cropper. Cavin Lobo’s save in the second session was saved by Felix and once Ebi Sukore also went close. The fault largely was with the midfield which failed to combine effectively or create openings for the strikers.
For Churchill, two of their goals, both scored by Henri, were ruled to have been scored from an off-side position. Substitute Jerry Zirsanga also had a good chance for the home team to increase the lead in the closing stages of the match but his shot was blocked by the rival goalkeeper.