The Red Machines’ newest recruit Willis Plaza scored both the goals for the Goans.
Churchill Brothers didn’t let the disappointment of being relegated to the Second Division hover on them, as they displayed an inspired performance against Delhi Dynamos FC and edged them 2-1 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday in the first qualifier of the Hero Super Cup. Willis Deon Plaza’s brace was enough to take the steam off Dynamos’ fightback, who only had Kalu Uche’s early goal to their name.
After the landmark victory, Churchill’s assistant coach Alfred Fernandes addressed the media in the post-match press conference. He began by sharing his views on the encounter, “It is not an upset because Delhi Dynamos are also a good team. They are a quality club and it is a fantastic tournament by IFA because you see the best of both I-league and ISL. It was a good contest for the first match. They missed some chances and so did we. But football is all about taking your chances. We made the most of our chances and came out with three points.”
The win will see Churchill locking horns with Mohun Bagan in the Pre-quarter finals of the competition. When asked how he evaluates them as an opponent, Fernandes replied, “In the first outing, we lost 5-0 to them. We were out of most of our players but after the regrouping of our players, it was a much closer contest in the second game. It could have gone either way. One lapse in concentration did cost us. After the injury to our strikers, we had to look for goal scorers.”
He further continued, “Once Plaza returned, he took just one game to settle down. Now that he has found his rhythm, you have seen his performance; scoring two goals and taking his team forward. That speaks volumes about the kind of player he is. We were looking for a goal scorer because we lost two strikers in mid-season. We were playing good football, creating a lot of opportunities but we were not scoring goals. But today, Plaza made the difference, so hats off to him for working hard, making a comeback and taking us to victory.”
On the other hand, assistant coach Shakti Chauhan was present at the press conference from Dynamos’ end. He painted a dejected picture but nonetheless inferred what went wrong on the night. “We don’t want to take anything away from Churchill as they played good football,” he said. “We had more possession, we were playing good football, but ultimately the team that score goals are going to win. We missed a number of chances even after creating some good ones, while they got just two chances in the whole game and they converted it.”