Hosts Gokulam FC will look to win their third successive game when they lock horns with a red-hot Churchill Brothers in an I-League encounter at the EMS Corporation stadium here on Friday.
The game promises to be a thrilling encounter between the current number two and number three sides of the I-League in front of a packed stadium in the football-crazy city.
The Goans have maintained an unbeaten record in their five games so far, one of only two sides to do so, and have scored seven goals in their last two victories against quality oppositions. Their efforts have taken them to second on the points table with nine points.
Romanian coach Petra Gigiu will be particularly pleased with the form of his leading marksman Willis Plaza, who has struck five of those seven goals. Churchill also have a compact defence which has conceded just four goals and have maintained three clean sheets.
Besides experienced Indian players like Israil Gurung on the right wing, the Red Machines seem to have discovered a new lease of life in their game. Gambian Dawda Cessay has really acted like the able leader of the pack with effective and telling contributions.
"Our last result was a positive, but in football a team wins and the other one loses. Against Mohun Bagan, we utilised our chances and subsequently, we won. We'll look forward to replicating the same tomorrow. We have seen the support behind them and that might be a key factor tomorrow," said Gigiu.
Bino George's Gokulam actually began their surge in form in a game in which they ended up on the losing side.
The 2-3 loss to table-toppers Chennai was the kind of confidence booster, if ever a defeat can be called one, that Bino's boys needed.
"Churchill have been going through a good phase and we have also got some good results recently. We just want to stick to our plan and execute them on the pitch," Bino said.
"Spectators are coming to support us day in and day out and that keeps the boys pumped up to give the extra bit."
What Gokulam will have to guard against is their defence. They have just one clean sheet from five games and against a team like Churchill, it might prove costly in the end if not tightened up.
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