Federation Cup: East Bengal start as 'underdogs' against in-form Churchill
Siliguri: The favourable statistics notwithstanding, East Bengal have their backs to the wall as they gear up to take on in-form Churchill Brothers in the first semifinal of the 34th Federation Cup football here on Thursday.
At the Kanchanjungha Stadium, East Bengal will have to look for ways to counter the threat of Churchill Brothers strikers.
Keeping in mind their scrappy showing at the group league stage, East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan preferred to call his side an underdog ahead of the match against the Goans.
"Their players especially Beto (Roberto Mendes Silva) and Akram (Moghrabi) are in excellent form and we really have to find a way to restrict them," Morgan said.
East Bengal, who have scored seven goals and conceded five on their way to the semi-finals, will have their task cut out against Churchill`s fluency.
The East Bengal coach hoped his team would overcome the deficiencies and come out with a better showing against Churchill.
Churchill Brothers` technical director Subhas Bhowmick was cautious in his assertion.
"East Bengal is a strong side and it needs a disciplined performance to beat them," Bhowmick said.
"I hope my boys will come up to the challenge," he added.
Bhowmick did not read much into the good form of a side that has Gabonese Henry Antchouet besides Beto and Moghrabi of Lebanon.
Churchill have scored nine goals while conceding just once so far in the tournament.
Whenever the two teams have met in Fed Cup semifinal East Bengal have won. Churchill Brothers are yet to score against East Bengal in Fed Cup.