SILCHAR, Dec 21: A double strike from Khemtang Paite and a stunning free-kick goal by star striker Odafe Okolie helped I-League champions Churchill Brothers to begin their Federation Cup campaign with a 3-0 drubbing of qualifiers Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on Monday.
In a completely one-sided Group match at the Satindra Mohan Dev Memorial Stadium, Churchill outplayed their opponents from Bangalore to run away with full three points in the opening match of the tournament.
Paite found the target in the 25th and 83rd minutes while Odafe scored in the 67th minute. HAL did not get a clear goal-scoring chance in the entire 90 minutes.
Churchill now take on Mumbai FC in their second group match on Wednesday.
The Goan side had the first look at the HAL goal in the 15th minute but Ogba Kalu’s shot from inside the box was saved by goalkeeper Amar Deb. Ten minutes later, Paite gave Churchill the lead as his header, connecting a Gouramangi Singh pass off a Charan Rai corner, found the HAL net.
HAL had a go at the Churchill goal six minutes from the breather but Fredrick Okwabe’s shot was well wide off the post.
Churchill captain Odafe, who had a relatively quiet first half, showed his prowess in the second session. Combining well with Ogba, he created a couple of dangerous runs inside the HAL box soon after the resumption.
Odafe then put his name in the scoresheet in the 67th minute with a stunning right-footed free-kick from near the top of box which curled and hit the upright before bouncing into the net.
Seven minutes from time, Paite scored his second goal as his right footer rolled into the net after a deflection from HAL defender SJ Ricky. (PTI)