I-League: Chennai City FC desperate for a win

The team hosts Churchill Brothers in a virtual do-or-die clash at the Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

Chennai City FC players practise the art of finishing prior to their I-League clash against Churchill Brothers at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Friday.   -  M. Periasamy

The Hero I-League clash against Churchill Brothers may well be the last chance for Chennai City FC to avoid relegation after a string of drawn encounters dented its chances. Chennai wishes to go full throttle and force its first win at home when the team meet at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

“We have been constantly trying but not been able to come home trumps. But tomorrow is a golden opportunity as we have beaten them before by a 2-0 margin. It gives us some confidence,” said V. Soundararajan, Chennai’s head coach.

The coach knows that his boys will be battling against a team that has travelled long from Imphal in Manipur to Coimbatore.

Time for the kill

Soundararajan believes this is the right time to go for the kill as there is no other option left. “Our boys have the skills. They have enjoyed ball possession for most part but it is ‘inside the box’ pressure that is affecting them. I have told them to go out and play without fear,” he said.

Read - ISL: Bengaluru, Pune settle for draw

Soundararajan relies on Soosairaj, the captain, and star striker Jean Joachim to come good for a team that has beaten the likes of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. “We need only that one goal from one of them to put us back on track. And, I believe they will do it.”

Churchill is also treading a similar path. “Relegation is a very scary thing. We lost five games in a trot at the start and it took great effort from our coaching staff to bring about this transformation. Hats off to the players for sticking together and fighting back. We are a different team now and we will go all out for a win,” said Alfred Fernandes, its coach.