Indian Arrows face stern Churchill test today
Vasco: A stern test awaits young Indian Arrows when they take on a resurgent Churchill Brothers in a Hero I-League match, here on Monday.
Churchill Brothers, who are lying at second-last spot in the 10-team event, made a host of changes in the new year romping in four foreigners in a bid to rekindle their struggling form.
And Churchill now look a settled side as they remained unbeaten in their last three matches but still remained three points below Indian Arrows, who are placed seventh.
A win on Monday will ensure Churchill remain above relegation zone and also above Indian Arrows in the seventh place.
Osagie Monday, who has scored a goal in their win against Shillong Lajong, has been a pillar in the heart of the Churchill defence. New comer Dawda Ceesay along with Mechac Koffi have combined well upfront. But playmaker Kalu Ogba is doubtful after he limped off in the first half against Shillong Lajong.
Kalu has been the fulcrum of the team attack and coach Alfred Fernandes hopes that he gets fit in time.
Jovel Martins is the other player who has not fully recovered and the Churchill coach does not want to field him on Monday.
"We are going into Monday's match with a lot of confidence after our two consecutive win and a draw in the last three matches we have played. Indian Arrows is a very good team and are very good in counter attack. So we can't be complacent," said Fernandes.
Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos said all the games in the tournament are tough for his young side.
"We come into this match on the back of two defeats, while Churchill Brothers have won two matches and have lot of confidence going into Monday's match. They have changed a lot of players and it has been good for them. They know if they beat us on Monday they will be on same points with us and it is going to be a big challenge for us to beat them," said de Matos. "Our aim is to get as much experience from this tournament. The boys are playing well and I am happy the way they are progressing. I am not worried about the results. We have lost matches mainly due to individual mistakes," he added.