I-League: Churchill aim to finish third with win over Aizawl

Stanley Rozario
IANS|09-Mar-2019 13:47

Aizawl, March 8 : Churchill Brothers will aim to finish third when they take on fellow former champions Aizawl FC in a last round I-League encounter here on Friday.

Two games beginning simultaneously at two venues, one at Imphal's Khuman Lampak stadium between local side Neroca FC and debutants Real Kashmir FC, and the other at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here between Aizawl and Churchill might see the league's third place decided at the end of 90 minutes.

The larger battle across the two games is really between Churchill Brothers and Real Kashmir. The Goans are placed third currently with 34 points and will be ending their league campaign on Saturday. 

Kashmir are a point behind in fourth, but with a re-scheduled game in hand against Minerva, will know that if they win on Saturday and Churchill do not, the third spot is secure and that would still qualify as a stupendous effort on debut.

Churchill, on the other hand, will feel more confident if they can jog their memories back to the first-leg fixture between the two sides at the Tilak Maidan in Goa, where a rampant home side had overwhelmed Aizawl 4-1.

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Under new coach Stanley Rozario however, Aizawl are a transformed and inspired side. They have picked up three wins in the last four matches and with the added incentive of finishing a spot above their current eighth position following a good result on Saturday, will be dangerous at home.

Churchill will bank heavily on the league's joint top scorer Willis Plaza. The Trinidadian has had a phenomenal season and his 20 goals have been a masterclass in clinical finishing after a tough season last time around.

Both coaches Rozario and Churchill's Romanian coach Petra Gigiu did not ooze confidence at the pre-match presser. While Gigiu was concerned about his players being tired after a gruelling season, the Aizawl coach had concerns about injuries and suspension. Both, however, promised a strong showing.

What will also please the Aizawl coach in particular, is the fact that in their previous two back-to-back wins, the team has scored seven goals and finally looked like gelling together as a team. Certainly, Saturday promises an exciting day of Hero I-League football.