AFC Cup: Lenny Rodrigues and four others ruled out for Churchill Brothers
Churchill Brothers will be without India midfielder Lenny Rodrigues for their AFC Cup round of 16 tie against Vietnam’s Vissai Ninh Binh on Tuesday, Sportskeeda can reveal.
Lenny, who turned 27 on Saturday, failed to recover from a knee injury that he picked up in the final I-League game of the season against Salgaocar. Besides Lenny, the versatile Saran Singh, centre-back Sanjay Balmuchu, central midfielder Asley Fernandes and veteran Anthony Pereira are all unavailable for the Red Machines due to injury.
On a positive note, attacker Bineesh Balan made it to the 17-man squad that is going to travel to Vietnam in the early hours of Sunday morning from Mumbai.
Assistant coach Alfred Fernandes will be in charge as head coach Mariano Dias is currently in Japan for the AFC Pro license course.
Churchill Brothers had finished second in Group E with ten points but managed just one away win, which came against Maldives’ New Radiant on matchday six.
Opponents Vissai Ninh Binh won Group G and were unbeaten with 16 points. But they have been hit badly by a match-fixing scandal and have been preparing for this game with only 15 players including just one foreigner in South Korean Sim Woon Sub.
The Goan club will depend heavily on foreigners Abdelhamid Shabana and Anthony Wolfe while India international Balwant Singh will be looking to add to his tally of 16 goals in all competitions.
The match will take place at Ninh Binh Stadium, Ninh Binh, Vietnam with the kickoff time being 15:30 IST but unfortunately there is unlikely to be any telecast in India.
Churchill Brothers Squad
Lalit Thapa, Arindam Bhattacharya
Denzil Franco, Satish Singh, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Naveen Kumar, Daniel Zeleny, Raju Yumnam
Abdelhamid Shabana, Micky Fernandes, Charles Miranda, Joshua Rebello, Jaison Vales, Richard Costa
Anthony Wolfe, Balwant Singh, Bineesh Balan