CHURCHILL BROTHERS got off to a poor start this season. No points from their first five games. 13 goals conceded and just two scored.
The turn of the year needed something special from Churchill Brothers in order to revive themselves: and it did happen. A flurry of foreign signings revamped the squad and the season as well. First game of new year 2018 was on January 8th against East Bengal at home. In the first half an hour, East Bengal scored. The second half, for the most art stayed with that score line. With 15 minutes remaining, Koffi Mechac, Churchill Brothers’ latest signing scored the equaliser. First points of the 2017-18 season for the Red Machines came in their sixth game.
There was the change needed for the team. They went on to win the next five off six games. Churchill’s season was back on track and there slowly it had lifted them out of the relegation zone. Last season, Churchill were at a similar position and their comeback had taken a similar route. Derrick Pereira, who was roped in the second half of the season, created quite a change in the team’s formation and player’s positioning and had Churchill come out of the relegation battle to finish sixth in the league.
This season looked heading toward a similar finish. But it was not to be. Churchill’s form didn’t last long. A 2-1 loss to Indian Arrows paved the way for a series of defeats to hit Churchill again. The work done at the start of the year was slowly being washed away with the back-to-back defeats. Frincis saved two points with a late winner against Gokulam Kerala FC. Mohun Bagan could have been wary of last season’s dramatic loss handed to them by Churchill at the Tilak Maidan. History did not repeat this time around. Bagan defeated Churchill in the penultimate game of the 2017-18 season leaving the Goan team in a must-win situation against Minerva Punjab FC.
Churchil had some resurgence in the second half in their last league game with a couple of good chances being far from being taken. But suffered a loss to eventual champions Minerva Punjab consequently being relegated from I-League. Through the Super Cup, Churchill Brothers have a chance to restore some lost glory when they face Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos FC on March 15th in the qualifiers.
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