All Goan title clash promises fireworks

History beckons Churchill Brothers as they gear up for the Federation Cup final against fellow Goan side against Sporting Clube de Goa here at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Saturday.

Churchill have a proud history, they are the defending I-League champions, but this is the first time that they have reached the final of Indian clubs’ premier cup competition.

Sporting themselves will be chasing the Federation Cup for the first time in their illustrious history. They have reached the final twice before (2005 and 2006) but both times they ended up on the losing side.

After they lost to Mahindra United 2-1 (aet) in 2005, they were beaten by Mohun Bagan 3-1 on penalties in the following year after the match finished 1-1. While there is prestige associated with winning a tournament of this magnitude, there is an added incentive as the winners qualify for next year’s Asian Football Confedations Cup – the continent’s second tier cup competition.

One player who will have to be closely watched is Churchill midfielder Anthony Wolfe who has been amongst the goals for the Red Machine in this campaign. Churchill are also the form team having won all four of their games to reach the final.

Sporting, though, would believe that the aces are stacked in their favour after having escaped unscathed from the ‘Group of Death’ – which also featured Bengaluru FC and East Bengal. Having also come through in a gritty performance against Dempo in the semifinals, their mental resolve could come in handy against Churchill.
It certainly promises to be an intriguing clash.

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