KOLKATA: Okolie Odafa scored a hat-trick to help defending champion Churchill Brothers rule over host Chirag United SC 4-2 in a 15th round encounter of the I-League football here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
Nigerian midfielder Ogba Kalu added one to the tally of his compatriot, Odafa, to complete the visitor's scoreline. United SC made a late charge and found two quick goals from Brazilian forward Edmilson Marques, who reduced the margin in the second session.
The home team's hopes suffered a blow late in the action with Edmilson sent off following a spat with the opposition defender Robert Lalthalma.
Churchill Brothers almost decided the match in its favour firing in three goals before the end of the first-half. Odafa began the scoring availing a cross from the third Nigerian in the side, Felix Chimaokwu, in the 10th minute.
Kalu doubled the visitor's lead in the 38th minute before Odafa found the net again off an assist from Felix in the injury-time of first-half (3-0).
United SC came back strongly with two quick-fire goals from Edmilson, who struck twice in a span of three minutes to make it 2-3 by the 63rd minute.
But the home side's luck ran out as Odafa re-established the visitor's authority, completing his hat-trick in the 70th minute (4-2).
The win helped Churchill Brothers tally 25 points from 15 matches, while United SC remained on 23 points. — Principal Correspondent