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The Churchill coach pointed finger towards their Egyptian midfielder when asked about the reason for their loss…

Churchill Brothers went down 2-0 in Goa against United Sports Club and further complicated their chances to avoid the drop after having beaten East Bengal in the midweek.

Abdelhamid Shabana was sent-off for his second bookable offence in the 37th minute and coach Mariano Dias blamed the Egyptian for his team’s defeat.

“I am very much disappointed as we had the game in our hands. We lost this match because of Shabana. He took the red card and we lost it from there. And this match was very important for us to stay in the league. 30 minutes into the game, Shabana taking a red card and going, it’s too bad.”

“I will not say anything against the referee but two cards in one match at this stage when the team needs him the most is not good,” said coach Dias.

Churchill saw a lot of the ball but weren’t able to create as much as they would have liked to, which Dias acknowledged.

“We were keeping the ball too much in our half. We were losing the ball in midfield, that’s how we gave them too much of space to attack.”

He explained his side’s tactics following the exit of Shabana and stated that the players did well to adapt to the system.

“I made it 4-3-2 and I kept the same two strikers. We had Raju (Yumnam) overlapping, Denzil (Franco) was also overlapping. It was again 3-4-1-1. It was the same as four midfielders and three defenders.”

He mentioned that motivating the players is becoming quite a task due to the travelling for AFC Cup fixtures and the congested schedule in the I-League.

“It is, I don’t know, we are playing after three days of the game against East Bengal. Now we are travelling for AFC Cup game and then coming back to play. Also there are lot of injuries. 

“Everybody has been playing. It is too much of pressure at this moment. Two matches in hand at one stage and now one loss again. We just have one match and there is too much pressure.”

Churchill’s final game of the season is on the 28th of this month and Dias assured that his team will go all out for a win against Salgaocar FC and not depend on the result of Mumbai FC versus Mohammedan Sporting who play a day earlier in Pune.

“Unless we win that match, we have no chance. We have to go all out. We have to get three points.”