Darkness engulfed the Tilak Maidan in Vasco and Mohun Bagan’s championship charge as a 40-minute delay enforced by the failure of the stadium lights could not stop the Maroon-and-Greens from crashing to a first loss of the season.
Playing after East Bengal had won their earlier match against Shillong Lajong, the pressure was on Sanjoy Sen’s men who were six points adrift but had three games in hand.
Bagan, playing after more than two weeks due to AFC Cup commitments, made three changes to the team that beat DSK Shivajians 3-1 with Bikramjit Singh (Jr.), Sarthak Goloui and Souvik Chakraborty replaced by Darryl Duffy, Pritam Kotal and Katsumi Yusa. Derrick Pereira fielded the same eleven who beat DSK 3-0 last week.
The away team opened the scoring when Sony Norde zipped past Keenan Almeida before his cross picked out Prabir Das who outjumped Adil Khan to head it in past Churchill custodian Naveen Kumar.
Adil Khan then shaved the crossbar for the hosts and Anthony Wolfe saw his shot just flash wide off the post before taking advantage of a defensive lapse in the Bagan box to equalise.
Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, got his head to a Brandon Fernandes cross which Eduardo Ferreira failed to deal with to give Churchill the lead with 15 minutes to play.
The lights would then go off with ten minutes remaining as a blackout ensured that play would not resume till thirty minutes had passed the regulation ninety.
The match resumed and 12 minutes played but did not bring any more goals as Churchill hung on for a third victory of the season. With this, the Goan team move up to sixth in the table, with 12 points.
The Mariners remain in third, with 21 points, but still have to face Bengaluru twice, go away to Aizawl and Shillong besides facing rivals East Bengal in a Kolkata derby apart from playing in the AFC Cup. These dropped three points could prove decisive in the title race.
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