I-League: Churchill, Chennai City in battle of basement boys

Churchill Brothers is languishing at the bottom of the table as it is winless after four away games and the fixture list has not been kind to the Goan side.

Ramesh Kurup I-League

Chennai City FC has also not had the best of starts to the season despite what was a possibly an easier set of fixtures.   -  Ramesh Kurup

After a tough set of fixtures, Churchill Brothers returns home as it hosts fellow struggler Chennai City FC at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco ground on Tuesday.

Churchill Brothers is languishing at the bottom of the table as it is winless after four away games. The fixture list has not been kind to it with the Goan side facing the likes of Shillong Lajong, Mohun Bagan, Aizwal FC and East Bengal as it failed to take a single point facing teams which finished in the top half of the table last season.

“We started very badly against (Shillong) Lajong and Mohun Bagan. So after that, we sorted out a lot of things and the team is gelling very well. As you have seen, in our performance against Aizwal, we could have still come out with a point. We conceded in the 88 minute because of a lapse in concentration,”Alfred Fernandes the stand-in coach of Churchill Brothers opined.

The game against East Bengal was one of its better performances where it looked like earning a 2-2 draw only to see Willis Plaza score late into added time.

“In the East Bengal match, if not three points we could have come out with a point. The referee played on another two minutes in which they scored,” Alfred rued before adding; "A little bit of luck and we could have come out with a win. If not a win, at least a point would have been a deserving one.”  

Is opponent on Tuesday Chennai City FC has also not had the best of starts to the season despite what was a possibly an easier set of fixtures.

While dwelling on his team’s bad run of form, Chennai City FC Coach V. Soundararajan empathised with Churchill Brothers.

“Both the teams are on very low on points. But compared to us, they played all the vital matches. Like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal. They have improved a lot. Unfortunately in the extra-time, one minute than extra time, they conceded the goal. They did a wonderful workout against a well organised side. We also feel for them. Anyway, we don’t want to lose a point,” Soundararajan stated.

The Chennai City FC coach also rued a lack of luck for his own team.  

“The team has not settled yet. But all the matches we are maintaining the possession and all but the luck is not with us. Against Neroca, we missed a penalty,” he said.  

Churchill Brothers will look to take advantage of playing at home and will again look to rely on winger Nicholas Fernandes who has rediscovered his form after a poor season in the last edition.

 “It is the coach’s confidence in me. Last year, I was a bit off. This year, I thought over it and I am trying to give my best for the club. Whatever is good for the team, I will keep doing it,” the winger said.

Both teams are after precious points in a bit to get out of the bottom of the league. 

The match will be broadcasted on Star Sports 2/HD and streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV at 8:00 PM IST. 

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