Margao (Goa), April 19: United SC will continue in top flight football for at least another year after the struggling Kolkata side got the better of 10-man Churchill Brothers 2-0 in an I-League clash at the Nehru Stadium here Saturday.
In a virtual relegation saver, United came out on top thanks to a brace from Eric Brown (49th and 70th minutes) after a barren first session.
The win helped United SC accumulate 26 points and are now safe from relegation. Instead it will be Churchill Brothers who face relegation. They are just a point ahead of bottom-placed Mohammedan Sporting and they will need a win in their final league clash against Salgaocar April 28.
Churchill made all the right moves at the start but lacked firepower upfront. Both strikers Balwant Singh and Anthony Wolfe were mediocre and could not trouble United goalkeeper Abhijit Das.
Wolfe’s shot, Balwant’s attempt were all off the mark and then Abdel Hamid Shabana wasted a good opportunity from just outside the box. But Shabana (37th) picked up his second bookable offence for fouling Eric Brown and was sent off. United sensed an opportunity and cashed in on the chance in the second session.
The opening goal came when a quick counterattack saw Sukhen Dey flash the ball across the goal where Brown came up with a low header.
Churchill pressed forward in an attempt to secure the equaliser but instead ended up conceding another goal. Brown was the goalscorer again, this time after being beautifully picked up by Owolabi Waheed Adekunle.
The midfielder grabbed a loose ball from Churchill defender Raju Yumnam and passed it for Brown, who finished with a good angular effort.
Churchill never really had a chance to come back into the game after the second blow and will have to pull in all their resources for the concluding league clash.