HERO I-LEAGUE: Churchill, Gokulam face-off in potential humdinger

Vasco da Gama, January 9, 2019: A humdinger is on cards as Churchill Brothers host Gokulam Kerala in a crucial 12th Hero I-League game at Tilak Maidan on Thursday.

The last time these two teams met in Kozhikode the game had ended in a 1-1 draw. Churchill need a win to stay alive in the title race.

Churchill has been more effective despite both teams playing an enterprising brand of football so far.

It may be noted that Gokulam hasn’t won a game in two months!

The home team has maintained its position in the top half of the league despite losing key players to injuries.

“I know its very difficult to win the championship. Now that we are in the fifth position, it is very important for our players to try their best to win, as theoretically, we can but practically, we will see,” said Churchill’s Romanian coach Petra Gigiu.

He also spoke on missing out on key players during match-day: “Tomorrow’s match is not an easy game. It’s a good team and their players work hard. Nenad will be missing tomorrow’s match because of his booking but Eldor will be making his comeback tomorrow and Plaza too, which can be of advantage to our team. We will try to come back and score in tomorrow’s game.”

Kerala coach Bino George on the other hand has had problems with his foreign recruits.

Marcus Joseph, who top-scored in the Trinidad & Tobago Pro-League, may make his Gokulam debut on Thursday.

Joel Sunday, who appeared in three games, has been released. Antonio German’s departure didn’t help matters either. George also brought in Ghana’s Christian Sabah and Ivory Coast’s Arthur Kouassi to bolster the attack.

George who expects a lot from his new recruits had this to say: “Recently we have two new strikers, Marcus Joseph from Trinidad & Tobago and Charles from Ghana, so the team is hoping to play well. I know the Goans have good foreign players. Our style of playing is attacking football and after the two new strikers have joined, our team’s confidence levels have increased.”

Confidence will be the keyword for George’s team as Churchill have Willis Plaza, Dawda Cessay and Anthony Wolfe in their ranks. The trio has scored 14 of Churchill’s 19 goals so far and would test Gokulam’s defenders to the hilt!

Also Read: HERO I-LEAGUE: Bagan down Minerva to stay alive in title race

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