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Kochin score first win in tournament

November 15, 1997 

Indian Express 

CALCUTTA, NOV 14: FC Kochin defeated Churchill Brothers 3-1 in a IFA Shield semi-final league match at Rabindra Sarobar today. The Goan side scored the first goal in the fifth minute through Nigerian Chibuzor when he latched on to a lose ball and banged it in. 

In another match, East Bengal were held to a goalless draw by a 10-man Mohameddan Sporting, after Ohidul Islam was given the marching orders in the 38th minute. Islam had seen the yellow card twice for rough tackles. For Kochin, it was their first victory of the tournament, having drawn both their quarter-final league games. They stepped up their attack after having conceded the early goal and were rewarded for their efforts in the 32nd minute. The opportunistic Raman Vijayan, whose twin-strike against Sporting had saved the team from a humiliating defeat, netted the equaliser. His long-ranger brushed Churchill goalkeeper Chandrakant Nayak's fingers before entering the goal. 

Nayak was guilty of letting in the second goal too in the second half. Kochin had to wait till the 70th minute for that strike, winger Carlton Chapman doing the damage. IM Vijayan ran down the right and centred for a charging Chapman. The Indian captain's angular shot on-the-run went past Nayak even as thecustodian failed to save. 

Nigerian Friday Elaiho made it 3-1 in the 87th minute when his curling kick was on target, thus snuffing out any hope that Churchill might have had even at that late stage. Raman Vijayan had created the move for Friday to take the left-footer, from the right. 

The East Bengal-Mohameddan Sporting match found the latter putting up another good performance. Pratap Senapati, Somnath Pramanik and Gunabir Singh, the midfield trio, once again had a good day. 

East Bengal failed to take advantage of Sporting's troubles, depending too much on a marked Bhachung Bhutia. The forward did display his abilities with the ball, but could not score. 

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