JCT, Churchill to clash in I-League on Tuesday

Gurgaon: JCT have an uphill task on hand as they prepare to lock horns with formidable Churchill Brothers in a second round I-League match, at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Tuesday.

The Punjab outfit were off to a shocking start, going down 0-1 to debutants Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in their opening fixture, and they would look to make amends against the Goans, who kicked off their campaign with a 1-1 draw against defending champions Dempo at the same venue.

The match would also provide Churchill with an opportunity to eye a revenge, over a month after they were knocked out of the Durand Cup by the same team.

JCT backline were often troubled in their first match, and their forwards, too, couldn`t do much against a tight HAL
defense. That they failed to cancel out Xavier Vijay Kumar`s 13th minute goal, gives the indication that JCT struggled upfront.

"We had some problems at the start but played much better in the second half. We had created some chances but could not score," said JCT coach Parminder Singh.

With the exception of Kareem Omolaja -- who played his heart out -- Parminder`s boys didn`t have much to show for against the Bangalore-based team.

Churchill Brothers, on the other hand, had to come through a tough opening-round match against Dempo. The former champions were down by a goal and had it not been for Okolie Odafe`s 86th minute strike, they could have so easily lost the match.

Instead of adopting a defensive approach which they did in their first match, Churchill Brothers would do well to play their usual aggressive brand of football. As a result of playing more men in the middle, Odafe, Churchill`s key man and the opponents` biggest threat, often becomes ineffective.

JCT defense did an admirable job in marking Odafe, when the two teams last clashed and Parminder is hoping for a similar outing tomorrow as well.

"Churchill is a tough team and Odafe is great player, very dangerous, but our defenders marked him really well then, and hope they would be able to do it again," Parminder said.


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