Crunch match for Churchill against HAL
Margao: Churchill Brothers will be looking to earn full points when they face HAL, Bangalore, in a ninth round I-League match at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
With four draws and a loss against Salgaocar, Churchill Brothers, who are placed third with 13 points, have widened the gap with table topper East Bengal (on 21 points), and another reverse could make things difficult for the former champions.
Just when Churchill were looking to settle down, came the shock 3-4 defeat to Salgaocar.
In the absence of Okolie Odafe who was sent off in the last match, coach Vincent Subramaniam will depend on the duo of Kayne Vincent and Binesh Balan.
"It`s a home match and we cannot afford to lose as a loss tomorrow will demoralise the spirit of our boys who are playing well as a team at present," said Subramanian.
HAL have eight points, the same as Pune FC, Mohun Bagan, JCT and AIFF XI, but are placed higher on the points table owing to a better goal difference.
Skipper Xavier Vijaykumar is the most influential player of the team, and is now in his 10th year of competitive football.
Former India international, R C Prakash, would be another key player to look out for.
Nigerian striker, Abdulla Hamza, would also be expected to score for them.
HAL coach Thaygaraj said Churchill Brothers are a good side and it will be difficult to beat them at home.
"Ours is a mixture of youth and experience. James Singh will not play tomorrow due to injury but we have a player to replace him. We have come prepared to face them and will be happy if we get one point," said Thaygaraj.