New Radiant - Churchill Brothers Preview: Red Machines can make it into the next round

The Goan outfit have a decent chance of qualifying for the round of 16 should they register three points on Wednesday evening...

Churchill brothers face New Radiant on Wednesday evening at the Galolhu National Stadium, Male in their final group E fixture of the AFC Cup.

The reigning I-League champions have a decent chance of qualifying for the next round as they have seven points from their five matches, same as Singapore’s Home United.

Should they win the fixture against the Maldivian opponents, they shall beat Home United’s competition for the second place in group E. However should Churchill draw, they will have to hope that Persipura Jayapura and Home United play out a draw.

The Goan giants are without the services of Abdelhamid Shabana, Balwant Singh, Jaison Vales and Raju Yumnam. Also Cristian Lagos, who scored a brace the last time these two sides met in Goa, has left the Churchill squad for reasons unknown. They have only one foreign player within their ranks for Wednesday’s game in striker Anthony Wolfe who will have to bear the responsibility of scoring.

“However I have full faith in the boys and I hope we come out with all three points and qualify for the next stage for the first time in our history,” said coach Mariano Dias.

The confidence of Churchill Brothers is at an all-time low given their domestic struggles where they face the prospect of being relegated.

On the other hand, New Radiant whose domestic league shall kick-off only later this year have been struggling in the AFC Cup.

But coach Simon McMenemy hopes that his team puts up a good fight and ends their campaign on a high.

“I want a good performance and a win. We are playing an international tournament and can’t afford to relax,” he stated.