Coimbatore, October 31, 2018: Chennai City FC host Churchill Brothers FC Goa, in game nine of the 12th Hero I-League at Coimbatore’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium on Thursday (November 1, 2018).
Chennai won their opening encounter at home against Indian Arrows 4-1 last week, in an impressive display, particularly by their Uruguayan marksman Pedro Manzi who registered the season’s first hattrick. Churchill, on the other hand, drew their first game against defending champions Minerva Punjab FC 0-0 and will be playing their second straight away game on the trot.
The hosts go into the game leading 3-1 on the head to head count, while one game ended in a stalemate, among the five played between the sides in the Hero I-League.
Chennai’s new Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas could not have been happier with the result and will look to carry on with the winning momentum. Besides Manzi, his Spanish signings, in particular, winger Nestor Jesus also had a good first game and so did his other winger Romario Jesuraj and coach Nawas will hope they carry on with their good work. Kabir in goal will regret his effort in the lone goal that Arrows scored and will target a clean sheet this time around.
Giving insights into their approach to the game, Chennai midfielder and captain Regin Michael said on match eve, “Churchill is physically strong, their attacking approach is different from ours. We will try to stick to our game and steal all three points tomorrow. Pedro Manzi is a strong player in our team and I hope he continues to play strongly throughout the season.”
Churchill, on the other hand, had the better of the exchanges in the first half against Minerva and coach Petre Gigiu from Romania will urge his team to do so throughout the 90 minutes.
Trinidadian striker Willis Plaza has carried on with his penchant to find himself in goalscoring positions, most often created by him, but his finishing will have to be the focus of coach Gigiu one would assume.
The defence led by Lebanese Hussein Eldor along with Wayne Vaz and Serbian Nenad Novakovic had a good game against the champions as well and they will have their task cut out against Manzi and company on Thursday.
Coach Gigiu said before the game, “We will try to play our game as we played against Minerva last day. Our main motto is to win tomorrow. Every game is difficult for us and we will try to do our best for our supporters.”