Mumbai FC take on Churchill Brothers in fight to avoid relegation
In danger of being relegated to the second division of I-League after a string of poor results, Mumbai FC (MFC) are pinning their faith on new head coach
Oscar Bruzon as they head into Saturday's do-or-die football game against Churchill Brothers of Goa.
With just four games remaining to be played by every side, the relegation picture in the league is clearer now.
The battle is now between Bruzon's MFC and Derrick Pereira-coached Churchill Brothers as new entrants Chennai City FC and
Minerva Punjab are safe from being demoted. Pune-based DSK Shivajians are also exempt from relegation on account of a three-year insulation they received when they joined the league. "They have a set of foreigners, especially up front.
They are very dangerous in counter attacks if we give space to them. But if we can control the game, I feel that is the best way to beat Churchill," said Spaniard Bruzon on Friday.
The trio of foreigners he was referring to were Bektur Talgat (Kyrgyzstan), Ansumana Kromah (Liberia) and Anthony Wolfe (Trinidad and Tobago).
"They are a tough team and are coached by the best Indian coach - Derrick, but from tomorrow Mumbai FC will also be a tough team and will be ready to fight with anybody," said Bruzon, who took over the reins on March 16 after MFC sacked Santosh Kashyap following a 12-game winless streak.
MFC are lying at the bottom of the ten-team table with 10 points, while Churchill are occupying the sixth slot with 16 points and are followed by DSK, Chennai City and Minerva.
"Now we are completely focused on tomorrow's game. My communication has been clear and we are talking football language. We are approaching from different angles and from my side all angles are positive," said Bruzon, who has a 45-day contract with MFC.
The team's key player and goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani, too, did not want to dwell on the past.
Shivajians look to continue winning ways against Lajong
DSK Shivajians will look to continue their winning momentum when they take on Shillong Lajong in an I-League football encounter here on Saturday.
Shivajians thrashed wooden spoonists Mumbai FC 5-0 in their last engagement on March 11 while Lajong were held to a goalless affair against Churchill Brothers in Goa.
The two sides had previously met each other in Shillong on February 11 and Shivajians was the team to break Lajong's four match winning spell.
The visiting team won by a 2-1 margin in what was a hard fought encounter with goals from Dicka Dipanda for Shillong Lajong while Sanju Pradhan and Shane McFaul netted for DSK.
Lajong are fourth in the I-League standings with 20 points. They have scored a total of 18 goals and won 6 times, drew twice and lost five games. Pune based Shivajians are in the seventh position with 14 points and have registered three wins, five draws and 6 losses.
They have scored as many as 15 goals with Holicharan Nazary their top scorer in the team scoring four goals.
Dicka remains the top scorer of the I-League with nine goals and the striker is hungry for more as he wishes to see the team end the season in a good position.
"There are five matches left and I want to score as many goals possible and for that I am going to give my best. It's not just about being the top scorer," Dicka said.
What matters the most is we finish the league in a good position," he added.