Striker Yusif Yakubu's first half strike guided Churchill Brothers to victory as they managed to ward off a stiff challenge in the second half to defeat HAL 1-0 in the eighth round of the National Football League at the Nehru Stadium at Margao on Tuesday.
A combined move between Yakubu and Kasif Jamal from the center saw the latter providing a through pass for Yakubu who raced into the 'D' and placed the ball to the far corner of the net to leave keeper Mark Mascarenhas' groping air. Yakubu, who was later declared the man of the match, took his tally to five goals.
HAL took time to find their bearings and fought back well after the initial phases. They had the best chance to find the equaliser in the dying minutes of the first half but goalkeeper Ansah saved Satsh Kumar's weak shot, off a pass from Sunil. The change of ends saw HAL taking full control of the proceedings but they failed to capitalise the chances that came their way.
HAL, who had Churchill breathing down their neck, could have found the equaliser in the 50th minute but defender
Obinna's header was saved on the goal line by Aquel Ansari off a corner taken by Wadoo.