I-League: Shillong, Bagan win; Churchill deny Shivajians

Shillong see off Minerva

Rupert Nongrum and Cameroonian striker Aser Dipanda Dicka scored a goal each, as Shillong Lajong FC celebrated their return to the JN Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Minerva Punjab FC.

Rupert opened the scoring in the 17th minute, meeting a well-directed long ball with an outstretched right boot before speeding towards the edge of the box and firing a low strike past Minerva keeper Arshdeep Singh.

A miscommunication between Dicka and the captain Nim Dorjee Tamang saw Lajong miss a good chance to double the lead just five minutes later, but that really did not make much difference as they continued to pile on the pressure.

Dicka, though, eventually made amends by doubling Shillong's lead. Although the striker could not get to a long ball, Minerva's defender Loveday Okechukwu failed to clear the ball after a bad bounce and the resulting skewed kick fell nicely into place for Dicka to walk the ball into the net with the goalkeeper out of position.

Minerva showed more intent in the second half and with the full time whistle in sight, Okechukwu reduced the deficit with a fierce shot that gave Lajong keeper Vishal Kaith no chance. Minerva, though, did not have enough time to find an equalizer.

Churchill open account against Shivajians

Churchill Brothers FC Goa recorded their first points of the season after clinching a 1-1 draw away at DSK Shivajians. The home side took the lead in the first half through Korean forward Kim Song Yong, but celebrations were cut short right at the death, as an 86th-minute header from Adil Ahmed Khan leveled the scoreline.

The two teams enjoyed plenty of good chances in the opening minutes as the match presented an end-to-end display of open attacking football. But Shivajians and Churchill failed to make their opportunities count in front of goal as a desperate surge for the opener grew.

Yong eventually provided the breakthrough, cashing in on the lack of awareness from Churchill's left-back to find the back of the net.

Churchill had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 76th minute when they were awarded a penalty, but Anthony Wolfe's effort from the spot was saved by Soram Anganba. Nonetheless, Churchill got their goal five minutes from time, as the substitute Surchandra Singh won a corner from which Adil converted with a front-post header.

Norde atones for penalty miss

Haitian international Sony Norde's opportunistic strike in the 77th minute helped Mohun Bagan overcome Chennai City FC 2-1. Norde earlier saw a penalty saved by Chennai keeper Karanjit Singh.

It was their first away match and Sanjoy Sen's boys did well to come back from a goal behind after Brazilian Marcos Tank's 52nd minute goal put the hosts in lead.

However India international Jeje Lalpekhlua tapped home from close range in the 56th minute to make it 1-1, and Norde grabbed the winner in the 77th.

Bagan now have 12 points from four games and along with Bengaluru FC are firm contenders for the I-League title as it has been the case for the last few seasons.