Churchill face tough task against Al Qadsia in AFC Rd of 16
New Delhi: Low on their morale after a humiliating 1-7 defeat against Kuwait SC in their last group match, Churchill Brothers face a tough task when they take on another Kuwaiti powerhouse Al Qadsia in their single-leg AFC Cup pre-quarterfinal match in Kuwait City.
Churchill got a boost as their captain and star striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie will be available for tomorrow`s match at Mohamed Al Hamed Stadium, the home ground of Al Qadsia, after missing against Kuwait SC due to double booking.
But despite Odafe`s return, the Goan side would have a difficult job at hand when they clash with a confident Al Qadsia who are on a high after winning their back-to-back Kuwait Premier League title on May 6 and will also go into tomorrow`s match with an unbeaten record in the group stages.
Churchill coach Carlos Alberto Perreira said tomorrow`s pre-quarterfinal match would an altogether a new game.
"The Kuwait SC match was a good lesson for us and we studied the mistakes that we made. The game against Al Qadsia will be an entirely different match," said Perreira.
"There is no doubt that the score (against Kuwait SC) was big, but it was a good test for the match against Al Qadsia. I`m confident that we can produce a good match against Al Qadsia. We will try to play our best although the match will not be easy," said the Brazillian.
Central defender Gouramangi Singh said his side has recovered from the humiliation at the hands of Kuwait SC and the players are concentrating for tomorrow`s game.
"We have forgotten the defeat against Kuwait SC. It will be a new game and we are confident of doing well against Al Qadsia. Odafe will return and we are going with our the best players we have," he told reporters before leaving for Kuwait.
Under AFC rules, top teams of each of the eight groups play the single-leg round of 16 matches at home and Al Qadsia earned the right by topping Group D while Churchill finished second in Group B.
Churchill would be expecting that the sizeable number of Goans working in Kuwait would come to cheer them tomorrow.
Al Qadsia are the reigning Kuwaiti Premier League champions. They reached the semifinals in the AFC Champions League in 2006 and quarterfinals in 2008.
The two legs of the knock-out quarterfinals will be played on September 14 and 21 while the semifinals will be played on October 5 and 19. The final will be played on November 6.