CHURCHILL BROTHERS
V
PRAYAG UNITED SC

Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
October 15, 2011; 17:45 Hrs IST

***

The final of the Durand Cup is upon us as the Champions of the last two editions face-off against one another. Kolkata’s re-christened Prayag United will face mighty Goan’s – Churchill Brothers. Last time when such a scenario of back-to-back defending champs facing each other in the finals occurred, it was the 99th edition of Durand Cup, way back in the year 1985 when Mohun Bagan (’84) faced JCT Mills (’83) in the Cup final of ’85.

Semi Final Results

Churchill BrosA� 4 – 1A� Shillong Lajong

Churchill Brothers scalped an expected victory against the side from North-East in the first semi-final. Shillong are a team that play Cup Competitions very well and thus had a outside chance against the Cup favorites from Goa. But it wasn’t to be this time around. Churchill Brothers controlled the match in the first 20 minutes with couple of good moves and sleek passes from Beto and Henry. Sriker Bineesh Balan and midfielder Zakeer could not finish on both occasions . The Goan team was then rewarded with back to back goals scored by Steven Dias and Henry as the clock turned thirty.

John Menyongar leaped high enough to get off the lanky Kovacic and thus managed to pull one back for Shillong minutes before the whistle. [ Half Time : ChurchillA� 2 – 1 Shillong ] . An exciting second half beckoned a Lajong comeback but all hopes were dashed straight away at the 50th minute mark as Bineesh Balan nullified his earlier misses by scoring off a Steven Dias free kick. Beto scored with 15 minutes remaining for the match and sealed a finals berth for Churchill Brothers. [ Full Time : Churchill 4 – 1 Shillong ]

Prayag UtdA� 2 – 0 Pune FC

High-flying Pune Football Club were shown the exit door by Prayag United. Yusuf Yakubu and Joshimar Martins proved too hot to handle for the new defensive combo of Chika Wali and Anas Edathodhika. At the half an hour mark, a James Singh corner proved to have a wicked bend for Pune’sA� impressive new keeper Shahinlal Meloly. Prayag United thus took the lead and maintained it through the rest of the first half as both midfield’s cancelled each other out. [ Half Time : Prayag 1 – 0 Pune ] .

As the second half began, Pune FC looked desperate in search of the equalizer. Joshimar played cautiously as he received a yellow card reminding him of the Fed Cup Finale fiasco. Maninder on the left for Pune and the introduction of Malsawmtluanga on the wing for Prayag made an interesting battle on the flanks. Super-sub Kayne Vincent then passed a square ball to Joshimar who tapped a low left footer thus ending any hopes of a comeback from Pune. [ Full Time : Prayag 2 – 0 Pune ]

Probable Line Ups for the Final

Prayag United : Abhijit, Deepak Mondal, Arnab Mondal, Bello Rasaq, Sukhen Dey, Malsawmtluanga, Crispin Chhetri, Denson Devadas, Gouranga Biswas, Yakubu Yusuf ,Kayne Vincent

Churchill Brothers : Felix D’Souza, Denzil Franco , Mathew, Gorumangi Singh , Y.Raju, Lenney Rodrigues, Beto, Binish Balan , Steven Dias,A� Henry, Zakeer Mundampara

Prayag United had failed to reach the finals of Fed Cup 2011 in Kolkata after a bitter semi-final clash with East Bengal when they were leading by a goal . It looks like the team coached by Sanjoy Sen have learned their lessons and would like to take a step further by winning their maiden Durand Cup . Churchill Brothers on the other hand, were hammered by five goals to nil in their first-ever Durand finals appearance in 2001 but then came back strongly in the 2007 edition to beat the same opponents ( the now disbandedA� Mahindra United ) .

Churchill then featured in a hat-trick of finals out of which they won twice. Having won the Durand every alternate year , that isA� 2007 and 2009 , the Goan team would love to be proved third time lucky in 2011 as well. Churchill Brothers sure do have the team to achieve this feat as well.

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One Response to “124th Durand Cup – Final Preview: Churchill Brothers v Prayag United”

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  1. Jose says:

    Churchill will surely win Durand cup 2011.