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Mariano Dias also felt that his side missed their unavailable stars, while Beto's departure due to a dislocated finger mid-way through the game further dampened their chances...

Churchill Brothers’ rapidly building momentum in the I-League title race was momentarily halted, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Mumbai FC on Thursday.

Mariano Dias admitted his side were below-par in the game and felt his team never got going in the game. He commented, “It is very disappointing as we didn’t play our normal game and couldn’t settle down in the game. After playing so well in previous games, today’s performance was very disappointing.”

The Red Machines coach also felt that injuries may have also played their part in the dull display that his side put out. He stated, “Yeah, we didn’t have Bikramjit Singh, Tomba Singh and Denzil Franco, maybe that is the reason but we have played before without them. Maybe that is a reason, as there was no understanding and they did not play according to the plan.”

An uneventful game was further marred by an injury to Beto in a clash with Haroon Amiri, which required the Brazilian to be taken away to the hospital immediately in an ambulance. Dias also agreed that his presence was missed in the second half and opined, “Yes you are right (The team missed Beto). There was nobody to hold the ball in attack. I think he has got a fracture.”

The Red Machines coach though, also made it a point to praise Sandip Nandy, who made a couple of fantastic saves to keep his side in the game. He said, “Nandy did a good job and we got a point because of him today.”

While Eelco Schattorie had recently branded Mumbai FC’s style as “anti-football”, Dias felt the team usually plays a decent brand of football, though he observed that Khalid Jamil’s side too were not up-to their usual standards against them.

“Mumbai FC usually play very good football, but they were also not up-to the mark today. We have seen their earlier games and they have been better. Also match kickoff was very early (at 3 pm IST), perhaps a 3.45 pm kickoff would have been better,” the Red Machines head coach concluded.

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