The AIFF developmental side were defeated by the Red Machines in the reverse fixture of the league earlier this season.
Churchill Brothers FC of Goa, resume their 12th Hero I-League title chase at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, Goa, on Saturday, January 26, 2019, against the plucky Indian Arrows in a return-leg fixture scheduled to kick-off at 5 pm IST.
Churchill notched up a solitary goal victory against their Republic Day visitors, in the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium in Cuttack, courtesy a Willis Plaza strike. Since then, the Trinidadian striker has moved on to become the joint-highest scorer of the league with 13 goals.
More importantly, Churchill, under the tutelage of Romanian coach Petre Gigiu, have demonstrated some attractive soccer and apart from Plaza’s sublime goalscoring form, Gambian winger Dawda Cessay has also been in excellent touch this season.
As a result of this, they find themselves in the third position after 13 rounds and just five behind leaders Chennai City FC. A win on Saturday will be gold dust as they aspire for a third Hero I-League triumph.
“It will be very difficult because we don’t have some players. We play every game to win. If we lose one game, we are out of the title race. This game is very important for my team now. Of course, our opponents want to play good and want to gain some against us. To be in the fight, we must win every game and we are confident to win tomorrow although, we know that the game is not going to be easy for us,” said Gigui.
For the Indian Arrows, it has been a successful season, both in terms of the development and maturity, they have shown from their debut season last year to the results.
They have already overhauled their win record from last season’s campaign, and are looking good for more, given coach Floyd Pinto seems to have settled in on his formation and squad.
Speaking ahead of their game tomorrow Indian Arrows head coach Floyd Pinto said, “At this point of time, we are working on the basics of the players, both tactically and technically. We are very pleased that the players have improved in both aspects since the first game of the season. We hope that this improvement continues as the season goes on to earn more points.”
He further added, “There are too many players in Churchill Brothers who are attacking-minded. We can’t focus on one individual. We need to be a good defensive unit, as a whole. We need to hit them with the counter attacks with more precision.”
Churchill will still be a huge mountain to climb, given their form, physicality and quality, and the Arrows boys will do well to get something out of the game. The Tilak Maidan has seen the most goals, 23 in all, at any venue this season. Given Churchill’s form and the mood of their front men, the home fans can look forward to another positive and entertaining day of football.
The Red Machines do not have any major
The Arrows do not have any major injury scares at the moment and likely continue with an almost unchanged squad.
Churchill Brothers– Kithan (GK), Vaz, Rowlinson, Novakovic, Mohanraj, Chesterpaul, Costa, Aucho, Ceesay, Wolfe, Plaza
Indian Arrows– Gill (GK), Boris, Anwar, Jitendra, Rai, Lalengmawia, Amarjit, Rahul, Vikram Pratap, Ninthoi, Danu
The match will kick-off at 5 PM on Saturday at Tilak Maidan in Goa. It will be streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.