Airtel i-League 2013-14: United SC beat Churchill Brothers in a thriller

Airtel i-League 2013-14
Kalyani Stadium, Kalyani
United SC 3-2 Churchill Brothers
USC: Vineeth(55th), Ranti Martins(77th, 88th)
CB: Balwant Singh(25th,47th)
A brace from Ranti Martins saw United SC overcome a two-goal deficit and beat previous champions Churchill Brothers 3-2 in the round eight clash of the Airtel I-League in Kalyani on Saturday (November 2, 2013).

Ranti Martins celebrates after scoring one of his goals
against Churchill Brothers,
Picture Courtesy:
Churchill Brothers raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to a double from Balwant Singh, but CK Vineeth pulled one back for hosts United SC and then Ranti completed the comeback by scoring twice late on.Churchill Brothers also ended the game with ten as India defender Denzil Franco was sent off in the 89th minute.

Ranti scored for the first time in six matches and it helped United SC end their five-game winless streak. Meanwhile Airtel I-League holders Churchill Brothers remain winless and second from bottom with three points in seven outings.

United SC started the game very well as they dominated possession and created plenty of chances. Most of the opportunities fell to Vineeth but the man from Kerala was very wasteful as he couldn’t even hit the target from a couple of promising positions.

Churchill Brothers hardly had a meaningful attack in the opening quarter of the game so their goal came slightly against the run of play. The Red Machines counter attacked after a United SC corner with teenager Alesh Sawant’s cross headed into the back of the net by Balwant.

It was a brilliant header from the former India U-23 international and United SC lost their rhythm after going behind as they started misplacing passes.

However the home team could have been level just before the break as substitute Jayanta Sen found himself in a one-on-one situation but his attempt was straight at Churchill Brothers custodian Arindam Bhattacharya.

Churchill Brothers doubled their advantage just two minutes after the restart as Balwant slotted past United SC goalkeeper Ishan Debnath after Shouvik Chakraborty had needlessly lost possession in his own half.

At 2-0, United SC had a mountain to climb but Vineeth gave them a lifeline by making it 2-1 just eight minutes after Balwant’s second. Vineeth headed home Eric Brown’s well-measured corner.

After that, all the momentum was with United SC and their Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie also made a few substitutions. United SC were enjoying a great spell of pressure and it finally paid dividends in the 77th minute when Ranti found the back of the net after Arindam had saved Bello Rassaq’s initial effort.

Churchill Brothers looked to hang on to a point at least but Ranti and United SC had the last laugh as the Nigerian headed a late winner from a Jayanta Sen corner.

The Goan club’s afternoon got worse as right back Denzil Franco was shown a straight red for his off-the-ball challenge on Vineeth.
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