Margao, Nov 24: Salgaocar came from behind to hold Churchill Brothers to a 1-1 draw and split points in the seventh round of the I-League, played at Nehru Stadium today.
After a barrren first half, Churchill Brothers took the lead in the 50th minute when N D Opara fired a 20-yards shot that beat keeper Karanjit Singh to find the corner of the net.
But Salgaocar fought hard and scored the equaliser in the 73rd minute when Edeh Chidi headed home a long lob from the right Rocus Lamare.Salgaocar who had better exchanges in the first half were unlucky as twice Edeh Chidi shot hit the post.
They made one change bringing in Elijah Junior Obagbemiro in place of Ryuji Sueoka but the former failed to impress even as Salgaocar had the upper hand in the first quarter of the match with Chidi first testing the rival keeper Felix D'Souza with a powerful shot which he managed to block.
Churchill took time to settle down and came with counter moves and Lalrindika Ralte long range effort missed the target narrowly.Few minute later, Salgaocar goal lived a charm life as Opara failed to head home from close a well directed cross from Steven Dias.
Salgaocar then stitched a few moves and almost scored but Churchill Keeper Felix came out with a diving save to deny Chidi a goal in 35th minute. Chidi again was unlucky in the 43rd minute when he beat rival defender with a body feint off a pass from Lenny Rodrigues and on the turn let go a right-footer that hit the post to the dismay of his team.
Churchill who tried to meet their forward with long ball had a couple of half chances to take the lead but Henri Arnaud Autchouet failed to get past the keeper Karanjit Singh.
After the change of ends, Churchill looked the better side and Opara whose early shot went straight into the keepers hands fired home a 20-yards shot in the 50th minute which suprised the keeper Karanjit Singh who was left rooted to his position even as the ball nestled into the far corner of the net off a pass from Lenny Rodrigues.
Salgaocar did not lose hope after the set back and kept pushing the ball for the equaliser and Chidi again was unlucky when his shot from the top hit the post and went out in the 21st minute.
But the willy striker finally found the equaliser when he headed home a long lob from the right from Rocus Lamare to give Salgaocar a point.
Churchill made two quick changes towards the end bringing in Binesh Balan and Jerry Zirsanga and the nearly paid off when their try from inside the box was put out by Karanjit Singh to deny them full points.
Churchill with today's draw now have 14 points from seven matches. While Salgaocar take their tally to 8 points from as many matches.