Churchill hope to end on a high

Churchill hope to end on a high

Churchill, who are unbeaten so far, just need a draw against defending champions Kuwait SC to top Group B. Under AFC rules, the top team of each of the eight groups will play their single-leg pre-quarterfinal match at home.

Both sides have already qualified for pre-quarterfinals and Wednesday’s match will decide who will top Group B. Churchill have seven points from two wins and a draw while Kuwait SC have five points from a win and two draws.

The I-League champions were the better side in the first leg at Margao on March 16 and Kuwait SC had to wait till stoppage time to find the equaliser in the drawn (2-2) match.
But the advantage will now shift to the formidable Kuwaiti side as they would be playing at home, though a sizeable number of Goans working in Kuwait are expected to cheer Churchill at Kuwait SC Stadium.

Moreover, Carlos Pereira’s men will miss their star striker and captain Odafe Onyeka Okolie due a suspension. Odafe has scored two of Churchill’s five goals in the competition so far.

Pereira knows it would be a tough job to beat and even hold Kuwait SC at home, but he sounded confident, saying that his side had beaten strong Yemeni side Al Hilal in their own backyard.

“My boys have given good account so far in the AFC Cup winning both their matches against Al Hilal of Yemen. Hopefully they continue to play in the same way and come out victors,” said Pereira before departure for Kuwait.

A win or a draw would also boost the morale of Pereira’s men as they have been struggling in the I-League, now lying fourth and the title almost beyond their reach.