Crunch match for Churchill against HAL

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Margao, Jan 13 (PTI) Churchill Brothers will be lookingto earn full points when they face HAL, Bangalore, in a ninthround I-League match at the Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.

With four draws and a loss against Salgaocar, ChurchillBrothers, who are placed third with 13 points, have widenedthe gap with table topper East Bengal (on 21 points), andanother reverse could make things difficult for the formerchampions.

Just when Churchill were looking to settle down, came theshock 3-4 defeat to Salgaocar.

In the absence of Okolie Odafe who was sent off in thelast match, coach Vincent Subramaniam will depend on the duoof Kayne Vincent and Binesh Balan.

"It''s a home match and we cannot afford to lose as a losstomorrow will demoralise the spirit of our boys who areplaying well as a team at present," said Subramanian.

HAL have eight points, the same as Pune FC, MohunBagan, JCT and AIFF XI, but are placed higher on the pointstable owing to a better goal difference.

Skipper Xavier Vijaykumar is the most influential playerof the team, and is now in his 10th year of competitivefootball.

Former India international, R C Prakash, would be anotherkey player to look out for.

Nigerian striker, Abdulla Hamza, would also be expectedto score for them.

HAL coach Thaygaraj said Churchill Brothers are a goodside and it will be difficult to beat them at home.

"Ours is a mixture of youth and experience. James Singhwill not play tomorrow due to injury but we have a player toreplace him. We have come prepared to face them and will behappy if we get one point," said Thaygaraj.

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