The Red Lizards will hope to end their forgettable campaign with a win in order to bolster the confidence…Churchill Brothers SC shall face the Pune FC challenge in their final group A fixture of the Federation Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.
The Red Machines have been the toast of the tournament so far having won two matches with the identical score-line of 2-1. They have struggled this term in the I-League and are placed at the bottom of the pile.
Abdulhamid Al Shabana and Balwant Singh have scored a couple of goals each which is certainly a good sign for the Goan outfit.
However new signing Anthony Wolfe’s finishing skills hasn’t been noteworthy as the Trinidad and Tobago international missed a host of goalscoring opportunities against Eagles FC.
In the absence of technical director Subhash Bhowmick, the team has performed well under the guidance of coach Mariano Dias.
They do have a tendency to leak goals - something which Dias has instructed his defenders to be cautious about.
On the other hand, Pune FC have been nothing short of shambolic at the Federation Cup. As mentioned earlier, their strike-force has been thin and their new signing Mustapha Riga has been a disappointment. His link-up play with the rest of his team-mates has been poor while James Meyer is a winger who can chip in with goals occasionally as opposed to shouldering the responsibility to score in every game.
However coach Mike Snoei’s constant bickering about the tactics employed by the opposition team’s being defensive is cumbersome. Fans of the club have vented their frustration on the social media platform of the club against the coach’s tactics and the manner in which the club has been playing. Their style of play has been as nothing short of being branded 'boring'
His decision to leave out new signing Nicolau Borges from the Federation Cup squad raises questions whether the club and the coach are on the same page. Moreover the club has still not strengthened themselves upfront except for Gabriel Fernandes - a player who hasn’t played much for the last six months or so.
A win against Churchill would do give their sagging confidence some boost ahead of the AFC Champions League play-off later this month.
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