Shillong, Nov 14: Shillong Lajong will play their third straight I-League match on the road tomorrow at Churchill Brothers, with kick-off slated for 5PM.
Churchill have played all three of their matches so far away from home, but will look to make a good first impression at home tomorrow. The Goans drew all of their away games.
Meanwhile, Lajong will be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat, but history suggests that they will be on the back foot tomorrow. Out of six I-League meetings between the two teams in Goa, Churchill have won on four occasions. Not only that, Lajong have only scored one goal against Churchill in all of those six matches.
Churchill received a reprieve from the All India Football Federation as they were supposed to be relegated after finishing only ahead of Indian Arrows (who are not subject to relegation) in the points last season.
They haven’t started their 2018-19 campaign too badly, getting points in all three of their matches, though a win eluded them. The Goans drew against defending champions Minerva Punjab (0-0), current leaders Chennai City (2-2) and newbies Real Kashmir (0-0).
Lajong, meanwhile, lost their second home match 3-1 to East Bengal, before suffering further losses on the road at Indian Arrows (1-0) and Gokulam Kerala (3-1). Last season they were beaten by Churchill in Goa 2-0.
SLFC coach Alison Kharsyntiew knows that Churchill will be tough opponents, but he has been making sure that his young charges are well-rested for the contest.
“The last two days were all about the recovery session so that the players will be fresh for the match against Churchill on Thursday,” Kharsyntiew was quoted as saying in a Lajong press release today.
For his part Churchill’s coach, Petra Gigiu, was quoted as saying on the I-League website, “I am happy because we didn’t lose (the three earlier games) but also not happy because we could have won a minimum of two of those games. Churchill Brothers will get better step by step in every game.”
(TSR file photo)