Mahindra to clash Churchill in I-League tomorrow

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Margao, Sep 26 (UNI) A tough battle is on the cards between Durand Cup Champion Mahindra United and Formidable Churchill Brothers, when they cross swords in the second edition of the ONGC I-league Football championship match, to be played at Nehru stadium Fatorda tomorrow.

Both teams seem to be equally balanced. Though Mahindra holds a psychological edge over the home team it cannot afford to be complacent as Churchill have been impressive in the ongoing state professional league.

Churchill Manager Danzil Ferrao was happy with his team performance in the state league and looks forward to avenge the defeat they suffered in the Durand cup final recently. ''Our boys will forget the defeat at the hands of Mahindra and are raring to go. I expect a good match tomorrow,'' he said.

He said though Mahindra is a good team with the best midfield attack and also defence, his team will give a good fight.

All eyes will be on Churchill's prolific Nigerian Odafe Okolie who is spearheading the attack. He along with Chimao Kua Felix combines well infront. Churchill's midfield too looks very competent with Ogba Kalu, Chitrasen, Jaison Valles, Zeneth Genius and Khaitang Paite. The defence will be safe in the hands of Robert, Naoba Singh and Govin.

On the other hand a confident looking Mahindra coach Derrick Pereira said his squad was well prepared to kick off their campaign in Goa. Winning the first tie is always important, he added.

He said, ''With formidable strike force of Nigerian Edeh Chidi, Mohammad Rafi, Paresh Shivalkar and midfielders Douhou Pieree, Sushant Mathew and a good defence we will be focusing on total football.'' The Durand Cup title has enhanced the teams confidence, he added.

''Our key Senegali defender Lamani Tamba who had a sudden ankle injury during the practice session will be out for almost a month. Tamba would have been ideal in a star-studded line up,'' the coach added.

Pereira said Churchill's Nigerian striker Odafe is dangerous and playing infront of the home ground is an advantage to them but his team was well aware of the strength and weakness of their opponents.

As both teams will battle it out for full points, it is going to be an interesting match. It will be revenge tie for Churchill brothers, while Mahindra will rely on counter attacks.

UNI SRN AB RN1655

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