Clayvin Bernardez’s hat-trick and Luka Majcen’s brace helped Churchill beat Indian Arrows 5-2 in an I-League match in Kolkata on Sunday.
Bernardez struck in the 35th, 58th and 69th minutes while Majcen was on target in the second and 75th minute.
The All India Football Federation’s developmental side scored through Vanlalruatfela Thlacheu (9th) and Gurkirat Singh (21st).
Churchill Brothers took the lead in the second minute itself. Luka Majcen’s header found the back of the net after a strong shot ricocheted off the crossbar and fell his way. The early setback, however, did not deter the young Arrows.
The Arrows got back into the game, playing free-flowing attacking football. Their efforts bore fruit in the ninth minute when Vanlalruatfela found the target.
In the 21st minute, Gurkirat Singh was brought down inside the box and the forward himself scored from the spot-kick to give Arrows the lead.
With Indian Arrows scoring two goals in the space of 15 minutes, Churchill tried to soak up the pressure by playing a deep backline.
The Arrows’ attacking spell was, however, halted in the 35th minute when Clayvin Bernardez headed home after a cross from the left flank found him inside the box.
Churchill Brothers started to batter the Indian Arrows defence in the second half with Luka and Bernardez’s physical prowess giving the young Arrows defenders problems.
In the 59th minute, the pairing combined and Bernardez’s powerful shot from the edge of the box left the Arrows custodian stunned as Churchill once again took the lead.
The Goan side extended their lead in the 69th minute. Bernardez found the back of the net once again, this time with a thumping header off a corner kick.
The Arrows tried to reduce the deficit but to no avail. Churchill Brothers put the match beyond Arrows’ reach in the 75th minute when Luka’s header from a free-kick crashed into the back of the net to give his side a three-goal lead.
In the earlier game on Sunday, Real Kashmir held TRAU to a 1-1 draw. The Imphal side took the lead in the very first minute and looked set to collect all three points until Real Kashmir equalised through Mason Robertson in the 70th minute. It was the only draw in the opening week.
(With PTI inputs)
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