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March 12, 2013 3:00 PM IST
Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex — Pune, Mahārāṣṭra
Referee:‬ Y. Yamamoto‎
Attendance:‬ 1500‎

Churchill Brothers - Semen Padang Preview: Can the Red Machine make their home advantage count

The Goans will look to erase the memories of their thrashing at the hands of Kitchee in their opening game and welcome Indonesian side Padang to Pune...

By Atanu Mitra

Churchill Brothers SC starting line-up against Kitchee SC
Churchill Brothers SC

Franco, Ravanan, Tamba, Yumnam;
Dias, Lenny, Beto, Bikramjeet;
Antchouet, Chhetri
Setya, Wiji, Pagbe, Ardilles;
Aiboy, Mofu, Hyun-Goo, Vizcarra;
Bonai, Malau

After losing their first AFC cup match against Kitchee FC two weeks back, Churchill Brothers would look to open their account in the continental tournament when they face Semen Padang at home on Tuesday. However, their task won’t be easy as they will be facing the defending champions of the much coveted Indonesian Premier League.

For the Churchill Brothers, a season that had taken off brilliantly has taken a steep downward turn in 2013. They could manage only 2 points out of the possible 9 in their last three I-League games. The problems started after the winter transfer window opened, as their star performer of the season and the leader of the defense, Bilal Najjarin left after receiving a lucrative offer from Fujairah SC of UAE.

In the absence of the Lebanese International, the defense has looked porous as there is an absence of a leader at the back. Akram Moghrabi also moved elsewhere after having scored crucial goals for the club in the I-League.

The Goan club have already replaced Akram Moghrabi with prolific Afghan striker Balal Arezou who though will be unavailable for the game. Sunil Chettri, the captain of the Indian National football team is also a part of the side now, after managing only a handful of appearances from the bench at Sporting Lisbon 'B' side. Lamine Tamba, the former Air India defender, has been roped in order to provide some stability in the back four.

This will be the first home match for Churchill in this season's AFC Cup campaign. Surely, they will try to seal a win. A few of their players got back into training only a few days ago after fulfilling the national team commitments. They haven't won a game against a tougher opponent in the last few weeks, except a 2-0 win over the Dempo side in the Goan league. This time they will surely try to reverse the wind in their favour.

Thier opponents, Semen Padang opened their 2013 national league campaign with a 2-0 victory over Pro Duta FC last week. The team is regarded as the hot favourite this time again because of their well-planned pre-season preparations and the formidable line-up at the coach's disposal. They are known for their beautiful passing football, relying on the creativity of their Argentine play-maker Esteben Vizcarra and the South Korean defensive midfielder Yoo Hyun-Goo.

Their weakness mainly lies in the defense, as the new signings like Wahyu Wijiastanto and Novan Setya are not yet at home with the team’s style of playing.

The team may also give chances to their youngsters like Hendra Bayaw, Yosua Pahabol and Ricky Ohorella  to excel in the continental competition. The team boasts of an experienced tactician in Suhatman Imam, who has been renowned for his tactical nous and strategies.


Churchill Brothers: Lenny Rodrigues and Bineesh Balan have a niggle but are expected to start. Balal Arezou is yet to get his visa and hence will be unavailable for the tie.

Semen Pedang: Semen Padang will miss their prolific goal scorer Edward Wilson Junior. He is fondly called the “Goal Machine” among the supporters and is injured for the next two weeks. Titus Bonai will bear the responsibility of scoring in the absence of the 28-year old striker. Only 2 foreigners Esteban Vizcarra and Yu Hyun-koo will be part of the visiting squad. The remaining players of the regular first eleven are expected to start.

  •  Churchill Brothers have the nickname “Red Machines” among their followers, while the Indonesian club is commonly known as “Kabau Sirah” in the country.
  •  During the 2010 AFC Cup, Churchill Brothers SC won two games against Yemen's Al-Hilal and finished runners up in their group and advanced to the next round where they lost 1-2 to Kuwait's Al-Qadsia.
  • Semen Padang are undefeated so far within three matches in 2013 season campaign.

Do You Think Churchill Brothers will be able to bounce back with a home win against the Indonesian champions? Let US KNOW...

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42Sandip NandyGoalkeeper
12Denzil FrancoDefender
13Dharmaraj RavananDefender
6Lamine TambaDefender
11Sanjay BalmuchuDefender
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44Bikramjit SinghMidfielder
11Roberto Mendes Da SilvaMidfielder
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11Sunil ChhetriStriker
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18Akbar OhorellaMidfielder
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