Churchill lock horns with E Bengal
Churchill Brothers SC will look to avenge their Federation Cup semi-final defeat to East Bengal when the two teams clash in a crucial sixth round I-League encounter at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Saturday.
Churchill have been one of the most impressive teams all through the season but up against the might of East Bengal in the Federation Cup semi-finals, Churchill came a cropper. East Bengal went on to win the Federation Cup while Churchill were left to lick their wounds.
“This is not a revenge match. There is no grudge against East Bengal,” said Churchill Brothers technical director Subhash Bhowmick.
“I must say this is a very important match since both teams are contenders for the title. We cannot afford to gift them points and three points, which we are aiming, will hold us in good stead. It is imperative that we stay positive,” said Bhowmick.
After their opening day loss against defending champions Dempo Sports Club, Churchill have come back strongly, winning all of their next four matches. It is the last two matches against Pune FC and Salgaocar Sports Club that has convinced Bhowmick his team is on the right track.
“In both these games, we fought till the end and got the desired results. The goals came very late but they were all deserving. I am pleased with the way my boys are fighting on the field,” said Bhowmick, who will field a full-strength squad for the crucial clash against East Bengal.
East Bengal will be without injured goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal but coach Trevor Morgan will not have much to worry with the team composition since India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has often proved to be a safe bet.
Morgan, though, should be worried about his team’s record in Goa where they have not been all that convincing. Their first trip to Goa was in the opener against Sporting Clube de Goa and they were forced to share the spoils.
“Churchill is a strong and attack-minded team. I expect it to be an open game. They have also had a good start to the league. Whenever we meet a strong opponent, it brings out the best in the boys,” said Morgan.
Both the teams have dedicated and skilful forwards. While Churchill Brothers will heavily bank on Lebanese Akram Moghrabi and Gabonese striker Henri Arnaud to fetch them the goals, the East Bengal side have in their ranks credible strikers in the form of Edeh Chidi and Robin Singh, who have the ability to get goals even from difficult angles. [NT]