Vasco, Jan 18 (PTI) On a roll after a three-match winning streak, Churchill Brothers face Neroca FC in a crucial I-League return-leg match here on Saturday. Also Read - Komron Tursunov Sets New Record, Scores Fastest Goal in I-League History | Watch Video
After losing to East Bengal on December 20 here, Churchill have notched up three wins on the trot and that took them to the second spot in the league table with 22 points from 12 matches. Also Read - I-League 2020-21 to Start on January 9: AIFF
Churchill are five points adrift from leaders Chennai City FC (27 from 12 matches) and they would want to collect as many points as possible in the remaining eight matches to have a shot at the title. Also Read - I-League Likely to be Postponed to December End in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic
In that context, Saturday’s match at Tilak Maidan is crucial as Neroca, currently at fourth with 21 points from 12 matches, are also not yet out of title contention and the Imphal-based side would want to collect full three points.
In the the first-leg fixture in Imphal on December 15, Neroca rode on a Katsumi Yusa brace to beat Churchill but the Goan side have regrouped since then.
With the form their striker Willis Plaza has demonstrated so far, a joint highest scorer with Chennai’s Pedro Manzi with 11 goals each, the home side will be backing themselves to take three points at home.
“It is a difficult game. Neroca is a strong side and they have many good players. They have an organised team. Defence and attack both are good. We will try not to make mistakes we have made earlier. The three points are very important for us and we will be playing to win,” Churchill’s Romanian coach Petra Gigiu said in the pre-match press conference.
Neroca have come here after a narrow defeat, their third of the season, against Mohun Bagan and will be desperate to get back to winning ways.
Their Spanish coach Manuel Fraile said, “The pressure is on Churchill. Rest we should give our best and win the game. It will be a difficult game tomorrow. We will try to be the champions. We will stick to our game plan and my team is ready.” The fluent attacking style of both teams and the quality in attack with the likes of Singham Subash Singh, Felix Chidi for Neroca and Dawda Cessay, Anthony Wolfe for Churchill, the game promises to be a cracker under the lights.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.