Ivory Coast striker Mechac Koffi saved Churchill Brothers from defeat as they came from behind to hold East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in the Hero I-League here today. The match was hotly contested with East Bengal taking the lead in the 26th minute through Jobby Justin.
But Churchill Brothers rode on Koffi's brilliance to restore parity in the 75th minute. After today's draw, East Bengal remained at the top with 18 points from nine matches. Jovel Martins and Wayne Vaz, who have been loaned from FC Pune City, made therir debut along with Ivory Coast striker Koffi as Churchill brothers tried to change their fortunes in the new year after five losses last year. They showed lot of promise probing into the rival goal often and had scoring chances in early part of the match but Uttam Rai, Peter Omodmamuke along with Nicholas Fernandes failed to score. With Churchill Brothers doing most of the attacking it was East Bengal who took the lead in the 26th minute. Yusa Katsumi from the middle initiated the move and relayed the ball to Laldanmawia Ralte who from the right who send a low cross into the box for Justin who found the net with a diving header. The goal saw East Bengal step up the ante as they grew in more confident and Al Amna could have double the lead two minutes later when he made his way inside the box between two rival defenders but shot out from close. Churchill lacked motivation in the second half which they displayed in the early part of the first half. Both the teams fielded fresh pair of legs in search of the winner but could not find it.
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