Persipura Jayapura are on top of the AFC Cup’s group E and take on second-placed Churchill Brothers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Wednesday evening.
“The game is very important because it can decide if we are going be the first of the group and we go to the next round or not. Its 90 minutes which can decide our future in this competition,” said coach Jacksen Tiago.
The 45-year old mentioned that his team will be missing the services of two players but that wouldn’t affect their style or plans in any ways.
“We have two players who cannot play. Lim Joon - Sik and Foday Boakay. That not new for us because in our match against New Radiant, we had four key players who didn’t play. But the team still did well. I’m coaching this team since six years already. We never really make a big change, so the players exactly know what the coach wants; they know about the opponents, We give the formation to everyone. Everybody who is missing is not a problem for us.”
Churchill played on Sunday and will be back in action again on Wednesday while the Indonesian side haven’t had a game for a week or so. Whether it will be an advantageous for the visitors, Tiago said, “I don’t think so, maybe we have a little advantage. This home ground belongs to Churchill; they know exactly what we have in sight. They know how good the field is, how bad the field is. Everything about India is new for us. No advantage for us because the weather is different, food is different, maybe we have a little bit more rest. In big games it’s not decided mathematically, but with spirit. So Churchill is a big team. The game means a lot to them also.”
The Goan side will look to keep star Boaz Solossa quiet and on being asked about the importance of the Indonesia’s 26-year old forward, the coach mentioned, “Churchill Brothers will put the focus on Boaz. We have other players as well who can do the job. Boaz started playing his first match in the AFC Cup against Churchill, but we have a lot of players who can do the job. Our game against Maldives, Imanuel [Wanggai] was the key men. He plays as a holding midfielder but he can come to score. Even Bip Paulin as defender can come and score goals. I hope Boaz is not the only one.”
He stated that the Red Machines have improved as an outfit since the last time they faced and hence his side need to be on their toes throughout.
“In my opinion Churchill has improved a lot. We can see after that match that the all the home games they won. So we have to be very aware of our game because we know we are in a good situation. Churchill Brothers is a big team, one of the biggest in India and so we have to prepare for the best.”