Fatorda: Churchill Brothers FC changed its approach against Aizawl FC and it paid rich dividends – three points. The dividends will get a better price if the momentum is maintained against Real Kashmir FC at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda today.
A win will keep both teams in sight of finishing amongst the top four as both are poised neck to neck – both teams having played ten games each, thus enjoying a numerical advantage in terms of games played in comparison to other teams.
Churchill Brothers FC’s Portuguese coach Bernardo Tavares must have been on a twin celebration on Saturday – his team having won and the arrival of the President of Portugal – and must continue the momentum by allowing all to feel the onus of play.
Glan Martins, despite an ankle injury, was the main playmaker in the last two home games of the team and the contribution of Ponif Vaz and Jovel Martins on the two flanks were a reminder of the talent available in Goa.
Glan excelled in controlling the pace of the game; retrieved all the lost balls; was quick in his anticipation and rarely allowed opponents to get the ball away from his feet. His belief in himself and the rest of his colleagues will leave Bernardo with little to worry about.
Ponif in the right was the other gem of the evening against Aizawl. Unfortunately for Churchill Brothers FC, Ponif will be out due to injury.
Jovel Martins was the third hero of the evening on the left. He made up for Ponif’s absence with his cutting thrust forward and helped the midfield with his quick runs. Coach Bernardo will need to get the combination of Glan and Jovel ticking again if the Churchill fans set the tune of good football again.
By depending less on Willis Plaza and letting the others have a feel of the gauntlet ,Churchill Brothers actually changed the perspective of the game bringing an air of unpredictability that gave them clear domination over former champions Aizawl FC. Bernardo will need to sustain such a game plan.
Churchill Brothers will need to carry that domination forward by giving Willis his place – as it was done during the last game – and at the same time letting the wheels of others be on a long roll.
Abu Bakr and Robert Primus played their part as central defenders whilst Lalkhawpuimawia had his crack at the goal, though not as often as he should have. But, the experience could well steady his feet against Real Kashmir FC.
New recruit Socrates Pedro had one shot at goal, which was saved, and will need to go confidently a few steps forward. Similar is the case of the other striker Hafis Mohammedali.
“The team has been playing well, with good offensive football where we have managed to create many goal-scoring opportunities but unfortunately, we have also squandered a lot of chances and then the opponents have capitalised and gone on to score. This has been the story of our last few games,” said Churchill Brothers FC coach Bernardo during the pre match meet with the media.
“Versus Aizawl, we could have gone to the break with a two-three goal lead because we had clear chances, but unfortunately we didn’t take them. We ended up allowing the opponent to claw their way back, but fortunately, the team believed that it was still possible to score another goal and we managed to score in the last minute of stoppage time. It was a victory that brought us some relief,” he added.