I-League: Churchill positive to end Kerala's Fairy-tale Run

ANI | Updated: Feb 23, 2018 21:01 IST

Goa [India], Feb 23 (ANI): Churchill Brothers will have a task to cut out against giant-killers Gokulam FC when they face one of the most in-form teams in the I-league at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Saturday.

The 2-3 victory that Churchill Brothers recorded in the reverse fixture in January had helped them turn around their season.

The Goan club was beginning to climb up the ladder with a string of wins before hitting a rough patch which saw them lose three straight games.

"We are in such a position that the reputation of the club and the players are at stake. We are in a hole which we ourselves have created. All the remaining three matches are literally like final for us," Churchill Brothers coach Alfred Fernandes said on the eve of the match.

The deflating defeat against Indian Arrows was followed by losses against NEROCA FC and Chennai City.

"The three games were a lesson to us and we know what we have to do now starting tomorrow," Churchill captain Osagie Monday said.

The former I-League champions are just one point above tenth-placed placed Indian Arrows who have suffered a shocking defeat to reigning champions Aizawl FC on Friday.

Meanwhile, Gokulam FC has hit the right chord at the right time and their five wins out of six in the last six rounds are one of the best in the division.

In their last three matches against the top guns, they have beaten Mohun Bagan (1-2), East Bengal (2-1) and Minerva Punjab (0-1).

"Our first aim is to play a very good game here. We don't have any pressure so we can play freely. We can put hundred percent in the matches," Gokulam FC coach Bino George reflected.

The Kerala side have rocketed to the seventh place in the table with nineteen points from 15 matches.

"My target is that we badly need to play the Super Cup. I saw that in the last two-three matches, the boys have been giving their full effort. We came here, we will work hard and fight for the points. Churchill have always been a good side," he added.

There is still a lot left to play for Churchill as they are only three points adrift of Gokulam in the points table.

Alfred Fernandes shared that the club have roped in two new foreigners to stem the rot.

"Yes, we have got two new strikers to strengthen our attacking options. Siyo Zuniappo (Congo) and Francis Oneyama (Nigeria) have joined the team to replace Koffi Mechac and Kalu Ogba respectively," Fernandes said.