Churchill Brothers registered their third consecutive win on the trot as they beat Indian Arrows 2-0 in Goa on Monday night. Dawda Ceesay and Israil Gurung scored in the 88th and 92nd minute to seal a convincing win for the Red Machines.
Speaking about the game, Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes said, "We are going good and we have a lot of quality in the team. Hopefully, the success of the team will continue and we have a very respectable position by the end of the season. They were playing with a back five so it was difficult for us to get the opening. When we got the openings, the luck was not there. One was ruled off-side which was a legitimate goal for me. Two penalties on any other given day could be in our favour. It happens sometimes. Luckily, (Dawda) Ceesay did some magic and we came out with the three points which are very important."
Churchill midfield marshal, Ogba Kalu, played the game after just recovering from a hamstring injury. On Kalu's fitness, the Churchill coach opined, "We had everything going for us in the last match. The flow was good and unfortunately, he (Kalu) had an injury which hampered our rhythm. I had to take a call on him and he passed his fitness test yesterday. The late kick-off also gave him additional time to recover. Now also, we have eight days for our recovery. So hopefully he will be trouble free and we will have everybody fighting for the next match."
Indian Arrows boss Luis Norton de Matos spoke about how his team is always the underdog in any I-League game. He said, "When we play it is always David vs Goliath but we are well organised and we make it difficult for all the teams. In the first 20 minutes, we were under pressure. Perhaps they (Churchill Brothers) know that it is difficult to play the full game with the same intensity so want to score one goal to control the result."
"I told my team if you can wait for the right moment and score first, for sure we can win. If Rahul (KP) scored the goal, forget it, we win the game. The team (Indian Arrows), when approaching the end, it's difficult to control the emotions.
"When there is a minute before extra time, it's impossible to go for a point. I cannot have my right back go in as a winger. Sometimes the ambition to go ahead is stronger than the sacrifice for the team. For the second goal, our player was (Anwar Ali) injured on the grass. In professional football, we never concede a goal like that because there is one man on the ball. We are too romantic sometimes because we look at our player and they can score quickly."
Indian Arrows side have had a very mixed campaign so far in the I-League this season. Matos, though, backed his side and said, "Indian Arrows until now lost more (games) than they won and that's normal. All the teams must run and suffer a lot to beat our team. One can also not expect us to play a game like a senior team. So congratulations to the boys and to (Prabhsukhan) Gill because after Dheeraj (Singh) left everybody was saying 'now Indian Arrows have no goalkeeper."