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Churchill need big win against Sporting Clube in I-League


Margao : Karim Bencherifa does not say it in as many words, but his club Churchill Brothers are eyeing much more than just a win against Sporting Clube de Goa in the penultimate round of the I-league football tournament here Saturday.

“Our (first) priority is to grab full points,” Bencherifa told IANS on the eve of his team’s penultimate encounter at Nehru Stadium.

Churchill (32 poiSonts) are close to securing their first National triumph, but need to overcome Dempo’s superior goal average of plus three.

With just two rounds to go, both teams are on 32 points and there is a possibility that the title, for the first time in 12 years, will be decided on goal difference.

“We don’t want to look far. Title aspirations can be weighed only after we get three points against Sporting Clube,” maintains Bencherifa.

A win Saturday, says the Moroccan coach, will take his side above Dempo Sports Club, who have to a tackle stiff opposition in relegation-threatened Salgaocar Sports Club Sunday.

“We have a plan. It’s not a (very) difficult game,” concedes Bencherifa.

His counterpart Clifford Chukwuma, however, remains doubly confident.

“Churchill Bros are under pressure and they need to deliver. It’s a pressure-free match for us,” says the Sporting Clube de Goa coach.

Sporting Clube de Goa (17 points) are placed seventh and appear to have survived the axe.

For Sporting Clube, midfielder Mickky Fernandes is out with a groin injury while Samananda Singh is yet to recover from the ankle injury he suffered in the last game.

Churchill’s Chitra Sen and Jaison Valles are both suspended with double bookings.