I-League: Minerva, Churchill gear up for final showdown (Preview)

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Panchkula, March 7 (IANS) As the 2017-18 I-League season heads towards the final showdown where four teams will fight for the ultimate glory, Minerva Punjab FC are gearing up to host relegation-threatened Churchill Brothers FC at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium here on Thursday.

Minerva Punjab FC are the only team amongst the four who do not have to depend on the result of other matches if they secure all three points against the visitors.

While an outright win will guarantee them the title, even a draw or a loss may still see them through provided the other two outcomes in Kolkata and Kozhikode go accordingly.

Meanwhile, it will also be a do or die game for Churchill Brothers as they battle for survival in the top division of Indian football.

Churchill Brothers are currently sitting on 17 points with one match left and anything less than a win will not avert relegation for the Goan outfit.

Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes said that this match is crucial for the future of the former champions as well as Minerva Punjab.

“It’s a very important match for the team. For Minerva it’s a do or die match for them to win the I-League and for us also it’s a do or die match for survival in the I-League. It’s a tough match and whoever will take their chances, will come out as winners. It’s all about keeping yourself cool and expect a very tough match,” he said.

Fernandes also asserted that a new era beckons Indian Football where new clubs are challenging the legacy clubs for dominance.

“Earlier, the legacy clubs were walking away with the honours. Now it’s good for the Indian football that smaller clubs are fighting neck-to-neck with the legacy clubs. Only Indian football will benefit from this,” Alfred said.

Minerva Punjab head coach Khogen Singh simply believes that his players need to focus on their game rather keeping an eye on other two matches.

“We don’t need to think about others, we have to just concentrate on our game. We have to win our game. Our aim, our objective, our motto is to win the match. If we win this match, we will end up as the winners. We think about our game,” Khogen said.

–IANS

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