With wins in the last matches in the AFC cup the Indian powerhouse Kingfisher East Bengal and Churchill Brothers will face Tampines Rovers FC and Warriors FC of Singapore respectively. After demolition of the Tampines Rovers FC in their own den East Bengal will look to double on their rivals which Churchill Brothers will look to get all three points in the away match against Warriors FC.
Here’s a preview of both the matches.
Tampines Rovers FC
Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata
9th April 2013
East Bengal will be facing S-League Champions Tampines Rovers FC in the return leg of the AFC cup Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. East Bengal has been impressive in the AFC Cup. The red and gold have not lost a single match in the group. They are in 1st place in the Group H with 7 points. East Bengal in their previous encounter has defeated Tampines Rovers FC comfortably and they will look to repeat their performance.
Trevor Morgan coached side has been impressive throughout the season. The team has been rock solid at back line which is well marshaled by Uga Okpara and Gurwinder Singh. The club has got ample option in the defence. Harmanjyot Khabra has been impressive as full back; he has been impressive going upfront as well as helping defence.
The midfield of the club also looks strong. The midfield has been USP of the Kingfisher East Bengal and the team has numeral international players in the rank. Mehtab Hossain as usual have been a key figure at the heart of the midfield. The defensive midfielder has performed exceptionally throughout the season and Ishfaq Ahmad has been other instrumental figure in the team this season. The Kashmiri has shown a lot of heart playing for the club. The likes of Sanju Pradhan, Lalrindika Ralte will also have a crucial role to play in the match. The only worry in midfield has been an inconsistent form of the Nigerian play-maker Penn Orji. The Nigerian has not been at his best in the season.
The club in their last match against Tampines Rovers scored goals at an ease. The club star performer was Andrew Barisić. The Striker posed lots of difficulties to the rival defence. The Australian was given good support by his fellow strike partner Chidi Edeh. The Nigerian has been highest goal scorer for the East Bengal so far in the season.
S-League Champions Tampines Rover FC so far have struggled in the AFC cup and find themselves at the bottom of the table in the group. The Stags have not been able to carry their form of the S-League to the AFC cup. Aleksandar Đurić still going strong at age of 42. The striker will have to play an important role to help his team in the match. The captain Fahrudin Mustafić has been impressive in the heart of the midfield so far for the club and will have to inspire his team in the match.
TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For
Aleksandar Đurić , Fahrudin Mustafić (Tampines Rover FC)
Mehtab Hossain, Chidi Edeh (East Bengal)
East Bengal 2-0 Tampines Rovers FC
Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
10th April 2013
After rather a poor start to the AFC Cup, Churchill Brothers came back strongly in their last match against Singapore side Warriors FC. Churchill Brothers scored thumping 3-0 victory over the Warriors at Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune to keep their hope alive in the competition.
The club will now travel to Singapore where they will face Warriors FC in the return leg of the AFC cup. The Churchill Brothers will miss their talismanic captain Beto. The playmaker will not feature in the next few matches for the club because of his injury which he picked up in the I-League matches.
Churchill after having a lean patch has come back strongly. They were dominating over the Warriors FC in the AFC cup match and won an important match against Pune FC in the I-League to go 5 points clear at the top of the table.
Mariano Dias will be happy to see Sunil Chhetri back among the goals. The Indian International striker was impressive in the last 2 outings and showed leadership ability upfront for the club. Henry Athchoute and Bilal Arezou are yet to fire for the club, but these players have quality in them. The duo will be eager to perform for the club and will threat lot of problems for the warrior’s defense.
In the absence of the Brazilian playmaker Beto the midfield of the Churchill Brothers looks weak. The Brazilian used to be the supply line for the strikers and the team has failed to find a replacement for him in the midfield. Young lads such Jason Vales and Bikramjit Singh have been among the score for the Churchill but they need to perform consistently for the club. The experience of Lenny Rodrigues, Steven Dials’ and Tomba Singh will play a big role. These players will need to play up to their potential and help the team get all 3 points.
Defense though has looked shaky in recent times and Senegalese Lamine Tamba has not been able to fill the void of the Lebanese International Bilal Najjarine. The defense has to come good in remaining few matches for the club. Ravanan have performed very well and deserved to get a captain arm band in the absence of the Beto. Denzil Franco has had an inconsistent season so far and he will need to get his act together.
Warriors FC has been weakest team so far in the group. The Singapore club which is only club from the country to play in Asian champion’s league has not been able to perform. The club is at the bottom of the table and has conceded a lot of goals. The captain Daniel Bennett is under the scrutiny and he has to come good in the match. The team midfield has not been able to create anything so far and this has been a major problem for the club. The players need to get their act tougher and play good football to get a point if not full 3 points.
TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For
Mislav Krogan, Daniel Bennett (Warriors FC)
Dharmaraj Ravanan, Sunil Chhetri (Churchill Brothers)
Warriors FC 0-2 Churchill Brothers.