I-League: In-form Churchill Brothers hosts lowly Aizawl FC

Former I-League champion, Aizawl FC, lies ninth and has a chance to move up to eighth if it beats Churchill Brothers Sunday.

Churchill Brothers can move up to second place and cut the gap at the top to just four points.   -  PTI

An in-form, unbeaten Churchill Brothers will host former champion Aizawl FC at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, Goa, on Sunday (December 9). While Churchill can move up to second, behind Chennai City FC, with a win at home, Aizawl can move up to eighth if it registers its second win of the season.

The visitor has blown hot and cold: some impressive performances interspersed with very ordinary ones, and its coach, Gift Raikhan, will have his task cut out against a rampaging Churchill frontline spearheaded by Trinidadian Willis Plaza and Gambian Dawda Cessay. The duo has been involved in eight of Churchill’s 10 goals so far, with Plaza atop the top-scorers list with six to his name.

The home side has a solid defence with Serbian Nenad Novakovic, Libyan Hussein Eldor and Wayne Vaz producing solid performances on a consistent basis. And with Israel Gurung and Khalid Aucho excelling in the middle of the park, Romanian coach Petra Gigiu seems to have all his bases covered.

Addressing the press on Saturday, Gigiu said, "Tomorrow we expect to win the match. Every game is different in its own way but we will play 100%. We lost points but we are ready to face Aizawl. I like to win every match, so does everyone. I am satisfied with the team and their performances. We haven't played too many games so far. We need to play more and get accustomed to the league."

Raikhan, on the other hand, has major defensive worries, his team having leaked as many as 11 goals in seven games so far. Aizawl’s front men, though, have been much better with Zikahi Dodoz, Mapuia and Kromah all among the goals.

Acknowledging the challenge of playing Churchill, Raikhan said, "We are not getting good results though we are playing good football. Tomorrow it will be tough. Churchill is a very good team and they beat Mohun Bagan but we are confident. We are positive but in football, we cannot predict. Their attack is very good, especially Plaza."

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