I-League 2017-18: Former East Bengal striker Willis Plaza replaces Siyo at Churchill Brothers

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The Red Machines take on Minerva Punjab who are the front-runners to land their maiden I-League title...

Churchill Brothers have signed Willis Deon Plaza to replace Jeancy Zunapio Siyo who has been released by the club, Goal can confirm.

The Trinidad and Tobago forward's previous I-League stint was with East Bengal and his last bout for the Red and Golds was when Mohun Bagan clinched the Kolkata derby by a 2-0 victory in January this year.

He had clocked 649 minutes under the Khalid Jamil-led East Bengal side this season wherein he scored twice from the eight appearances. Interestingly, he scored both those goals against Churchill Brothers and it included a late injury time winner that helped his side edge a five-goal thriller in Kolkata.

Plaza was last contracted to  I-League second division side Mohammedan Sporting who have roped in Ethiopian attacker Fikru Tefera Lemessa as a replacement.

He would be available for selection for Churchill Brothers' final game of the season against Minerva Punjab that may well save his current team from the clutches of relegation while possibly jeopardising the Punjabi team's title quest.

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"We had to release (Mechac) Koffi who had a fracture in his foot. He played with pain for three matches but he could not continue like that. It was better to replace him with another striker and we got these two strikers who did not deliver for us," Fernandes had lamented after losing against Mohun Bagan on Saturday.

The Goans are currently ninth, with 17 points from as many games, in the I-League. Below them are Indian Arrows (15) while a place above them are Chennai City (19), who have both wrapped up their campaign.

However, as Churchill Brothers look to avoid the drop with a win on Thursday, the conundrum of Chennai City's 'relegation immunity' may well play a role over the Varca-based team's fate as seventh-placed Gokulam Kerala (20) are already immune to relegation and Shillong Lajong (22) are out of reach.

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