The Goan side will be looking to take a huge step towards qualifying for the round of 16...
Matchday five of the Group E encounter sees Churchill Brothers playing Indonesian champions, Persipura Jayapura at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in a clash of the top two sides in the cluster.
Churchill have been very strong at home as they have won their matches comprehensively against New Radiant of Maldives and Singapore's Home United. However they have been defeated in their away matches.
The Goan outfit will look to bounce back from the 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa in the I-League over the weekend. They dominated the proceedings but the likes of Balwant Singh and Anthony Wolfe were the culprits missing out on several chances. The strike duo will ought to be at their best if Churchill have any hopes of defeating the Indonesian side, sans Cristian Lagos who has quit the side.
As many as five key players will be missed for the home side as Dharmaraj Ravanan, Lenny Rodrigues, Raju Yumnam and Saran Singh will be out of the match while Satish Singh is suspended.
Abdelhamid Shabana will play an important role as he initiates most of the attacks for the I-League champions.
A win would take them closer to qualifying to the next stage and if Home United lose in the other group E encounter on Wednesday, Churchill would most definitely qualify for the knockouts.
“If we win tomorrow we can assure that we have a chance to qualify for the next round. Tomorrow’s match is very important. Having lost to them away, we will take this match very seriously," said coach Mariano Dias.
Persipura Jayapura have a made a strong start to their AFC Cup campaign winning three games and getting a point out of one. They sit pretty at the top of the table with 10 points.
They have full strength team with no real injury worries coming into this game. Two players who are injured are namely Lim Joon-Sik and Foday Boakay, but the coach is upbeat about the team he has at his disposal.
“We have two players who cannot play, Lim Joon-Sik and Foday Boakay. That’s not new for us because in our match against New Radiant, we had four key players who didn’t play. But the team still did well. I’m coaching this team since 6 years already. We never really make a big change, so the players exactly know what the coach wants. Everybody who is missing is not a problem for us," said Tiago Jackson, the coach of the Indonesian team.
Boaz Solossa will be the main threat for Churchill as he is in top form in the competition. He is the club’s leading scorer of all time with a tally of 104 goals in 146 games.
Persipura defeated Churchill 2-0 on matchday one of the AFC Cup and the Goan side will looking for revenge going into this important tie.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.