We have reached the fag end of the I-League with no clear cut winners or losers and the contest in Goa will go a long way in deciding who gets to avoid the drop...
Churchill Brothers and United SC will lock horns in Goa in what will be a titanic struggle between two teams hoping to avoid the pangs of relegation.
While Churchill have calmed their nerves by a superb 1-0 win against East Bengal getting them upto 22 points, United SC just sit above with 23 points after a disappointing draw against Mohun Bagan.
After this match Churchill are still to face Salgaocar in Goa while United take on East Bengal in Kalyani. Thus both teams need to target this match itself for maximum points as this would be a sureshot ticket to safety.
A Raju Yumnam goal had given Churchill a victory against high flying East Bengal which have succeeded in taking them up from bottom and the Red Machines will need similar spirit to eke out a win against the Purple Brigade.
What will have them excited is that United SC are winless in their last 13 I-League matches and Churchill will do their utmost to make that continue.
Meanwhile for Subrata Bhattacharya's men, it is a lack of firepower upfront as CK Vineeth and Ranti Martins, the players who were on the scoresheet in the reverse fixture which United SC had won handsomely, are no longer with the outfit.
Even with Eric Brown's tremendous form in midfield, United SC as demonstrated in the tame draw against Mohun Bagan have failed to bury the chances.
Similarly Churchill too are not enjoying a purple patch in front of goal as both Balwant Singh and Anthony Wolfe had missed sureshot chances against East Bengal which could have made the scoreline much more sweeter.
"The boys played well against East Bengal and that victory will give us confidence," said coach Mariano Dias.
United SC coach has said that the players have to play for the team and cannot give in to pressure and was hopeful that his strikers will be back to scoring soon.
“It’s now or never for the entire team. We have to stand up and play for our club, our pride. Definitely the players have faced innumerable hiccups this season, but they have to show their character. We have to earn all the three points to be safe, otherwise it’d be another week and tremendous pressure over our shoulder. We have to finish it off here only”,
"Strikers are trying, they all are well capable of scoring and they know it. They have to pull up their socks and put up an outstanding show. I have tremendous confidence on their credibility," said technical director Subrata Bhattacharya.
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