The Red Machines will look to snap three points from the tie as they want to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom placed side…
Churchill Brothers SC will take on local rivals Dempo SC in game week 23 of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao.
The home team will be high on confidence following their late rally against title contenders Pune FC. Goals from talisman Balwant Singh and Bineesh Balan in the closing minutes of the game ensured that their battle to avoid relegation remained on track.
Subhash Bhowmick’s side will be without the services of Satish Singh and Bineesh Balan who miss out due to suspension. Their midfield talisman Abdelhamid Shabana who served a one match suspension in the previous round will be back this Friday along with Australian defender, Daniel Zelleny who is expected to make the squad.
Churchill Brothers Technical Director, Subhash Bhowmick was positive that his side will deliver a good show against Dempo SC. He said, "The way the boys fought back against Pune FC, it showed their character. They will take the confidence gained from the previous match into the match against Dempo SC. The lads know their duties and I have full confidence that they will perform well."
Both teams have reinforced their squads since their previous encounter and Bhowmick was looking forward to the meeting. “Dempo is a good side and they have a good mixture of youth and experienced players in their squad. Both teams have signed new players since our first I League encounter in November 2013. We are looking forward for a good game and the boys will go all out for a win,” he said.
Dempo are in fine form after recording 4 wins in their previous 5 games and are looking to end the season in a strong fashion.
Coach Arthur Papas was particularly pleased with his side’s good showing in the second half of the season. He said, “It has been a positive second phase for the team and we understand we need to continue to work hard to keep improving, if we can retain our best team on the park then we can be optimistic about the performances."
He further added, “The boys have shown great desire in the second half of the I-League and the group is ambitious to continue this way”.
In spite of his team having the youngest average age in the I-League, the coach was pleased with the team's output this season: “Personally I am pleased with the majority of the team’s performance in the second phase, we would like to continue with the momentum, keep improving our style of play which when effective has shown its capabilities.”
Tolgay Ozbey remains the key man for the Goan outfit after scoring the only goal in the previous game against Mohammedan Sporting which ensured that his side picked up all three points.
The previous encounter between the two sides ended in a 1-0 victory for Dempo with Jeje Lalpekhlua scoring the winner.