I-League: Aizawl FC takes on in-form Churchill Brothers

Aizawl FC will hope to draw inspiration from its previous contest to thwart Churchill Brothers when the two teams lock horns on Wednesday.

Ready for battle: Aizawl FC head coach Stanley Rozario (second from left) shakes hands with his Churchill Brothers counterpart on Tuesday. Photo: AIFF Media

Aizawl FC will hope to draw inspiration from its previous I-League contest to thwart Churchill Brothers when the two teams lock horns at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on Wednesday.

Reduced to 10 men within 20 minutes of the away game against Gokulam Kerala, Aizawl showed tremendous resilience to secure a 1-1 draw.


“It was a very tough away fixture against Gokulam, as we played with 10 men for more than 70 minutes. Our players showed the fighting spirit, courage, character and commitment on the pitch and drew the match 1-1,” Stanley Rozario, head coach, Aizawl FC, said on Tuesday ahead of his team's home game.

Identifying the area to improve upon, he said, “In the last three matches, we have been giving away easy penalties and this is the big worrying part now and I’m working on it. Our players have to be more cautious and not to repeat the same mistakes.”

'Tough opponents'

Commenting on Churchill Brothers, he said, “Churchill Brothers are tough opponents and they are in good form and coming with high motivation after defeating Quess East Bengal in Goa. They have the players like Willis Plaza, Lalkhawpuimawia and Alhassan who can put pressure on any opponent but we have a plan to stop them and my players are ready to take the challenge.”

Churchill Brothers has been in great form coming into this game, having lost just once this season. Willis Plaza has been the indomitable leader of the pack and Kalif Alhassan has beautifully fit into the shoes of Dawda Ceesay who has been missing from the line-up due to an injury.

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The consistency of Israil Gurung in delivering inch-perfect balls into the box has been another advantage for the team.

Bernardo Tavarez, Churchill Brothers head coach, commenting on Aizawl FC, said, “I’m told that they won 2-1 against Churchill Brothers last season. This season, they have already played at home against Mohun Bagan, Chennai City and Punjab and they did not lose any game. They are a very strong team at home and the artificial turf will give them an edge because we are used to playing on natural turf.”

He added, “They fight very hard when they don’t have the ball. They have good players and they are a good team. They just lost one game away until now in the league. If we want to win this team we must be better at fighting for the ball.”

The match begins at 7pm IST.

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