I-League: Churchill Brothers resumes quest for title with Indian Arrows clash

Churchill Brothers won the away fixture against Indian Arrows and has a chance to do the double.

Willis Plaza has been in imperious form this year, leading the goal-scorers chart. (File Photo)   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Churchill Brothers will resume its title chase at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama on Saturday,against the plucky Indian Arrows in a return-leg fixture.

Churchill secured a victory by a solitary goal against its visitor in the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium in Cuttack, courtesy a Willis Plaza strike. Since then, the Trinidadian striker has become the joint-highest scorer this season with 13 goals.

More importantly, Churchill, under the tutelage of Romanian coach Petre Gigiu, has played some attractive football, with Gambian winger Dawda Cessay in excellent touch this season.

It is third after 13 rounds and just five points behind league-leading Chennai City FC. A win on Saturday will be crucial in its question for a third league title.

“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. It has already recorded more wins compared to last season and is looking good for more, with coach Floyd Pinto seemingly settled on his formation and squad.

Speaking ahead of the game tomorrow, 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 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 provide a stiff test given its form and the elements it brings to the table, like physicality and quality of its players. The Tilak Maidan has seen the most goals, 23 in all, at any venue this season. Given Churchill’s form and the form of its attackers, the home fans can look forward to another positive and entertaining day of football.