I-League: Churchill look to capitalise on home advantage against Mumbai FC (Preview)
Vasco (Goa), Jan 14 (IANS) Former champions Churchill Brothers will look to capitalise on home advantage when they take on Mumbai FC in an I-League match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here on Sunday.
Churchill, back in the top division after a two-year hiatus, gave a good account of themselves during their defeat to Mohun Bagan in the first game of their campaign in Kolkata.
Their fans will hope that the former I-League champions will be able to recover from that defeat and ensure a positive result against Mumbai FC.
The Goan club are still not at full strength as they are yet to recruit all the players in their foreign quota.
But there is good news for the club as Trinidad and Tobago striker Anthony Wolfe has joined the squad.
Alfred Fernandes will take charge of the team once again as Joseph Afusi’s appointment has been delayed indefinitely. The Goan tactician is confident that the arrival of Wolfe will provide the necessary firepower to Churchill Brothers.
“In the match against Bagan, we were lacking in firepower. Wolfe is available tomorrow and hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day in the office for us. Of course, it is very important for us as it is our home match,” Fernandes said.
The club have also been bolstered by the addition of three Indian players in Fulganco Cardozo, Richard Costa and Quan Gomes but they won’t be available for selection against the Mumbai side.
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s head coach Santosh Kashyap will be a happy man as his side are coming on the back of a morale-boosting victory against DSK Shivajians.
Kashyap’s men will be looking to carry on their momentum in their first assignment away from home this season.
“We have shown in our last match that in spite of having all Indian players, against a very strong team, we never defended and we were winning. I believe in attacking football and we’ll continue to play my way,” Kashyap said.
As Churchill are yet to open their account, coach Alfred feels that the first priority would be to avoid defeat.
“My philosophy in coaching is that a point is a must first and three points is always a bonus. So if they don’t give us a chance to score, then we also won’t allow them to score. A point is important first and then we go for the three points,” he said.
And Alfred can take heart from the fact that the players who are already in the squad have put in some lion-hearted performances against Bagan.
Churchill skipper Keenan Almeida led from the front despite suffering a bruise on the head while debutant Kingslee Fernandes walked away with the Hero of the match performance.
“It takes guts for a boy to go out there and prove it. He was brilliant and hopefully he can continue with the same vein of form,” the Goan tactician said about young Kingslee.
The only doubt for Churchill is defender Adil Khan and Alfred is expected to take a call on the defender on match day while the rest of the squad are available for selection.