de Souza nets equaliser as Chennai City holds Churchill


Charles de Souza scored the equaliser for the host as Chennai City FC eked out a 1-1 draw with Churchill Brothers in a Hero I-League fixture at the Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
The Brazilian striker worked tirelessly without much support, with shadow striker M. Regin remaining in the shade.
Brandon Fernandes gave the visitors the lead in the 63rd minute, with a free-kick from around 20 yards that beat ’keeper Shahin Lal Meloli. Within two minutes, though, Marcos Tank set de Souza up for the equaliser.
Chennai City has eight points from nine matches while Churchill has six from the same number of matches. While Chennai City remains seventh on the table, Churchill is eighth. Though the first half, dominated by Chennai City, was mundane in large parts, there were a few bright sparks. It was the visitors who made the first attempt at goal. Fernandes’ low free-kick swerved, but Meloli was good enough to keep it out. For Chennai City, striker de Souza kept the Churchill defence on tenterhooks with his speed on the break-in runs. One such instance saw the Brazilian feed Edwin a pass from the right, but the latter hit it way off the mark. Churchill’s Ansumana Kromah impressed with his intensity and imagination, and it is to the credit of the home team’s defence that the Liberian forward could not free himself to unleash drives. He did find the net in the 22nd minute but was ruled off-side.
Playing as a withdrawn striker, Regin was a disappointment, unable to make any impact.
That prompted the coach V. Soundararajan to substitute him with Tank, who contributed to the goal. The fleet-footed Fernandes showed off his considerable dribbling skills. A curling free-kick went past the crossbar early in the first half, and he was a threat whenever he had the ball.


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