AFC Champions League: Pune FC go down 0-3 to Hanoi T&T FC
29.01.2014: PUNE FC ( 0-3 ) HANOI T&T FC ( PUNE- FT..) :: EAST BENGAL IFA SHIELD match
PFC : Amrinder, Calum, Anas, Gurjinder, Ganesh, Arata, Douhou, Gabriel, Anthony, Riga.
HAN: Van Cong, Gallagher, Van Bien, Van Hieu, Hector, Cuong, Luong, Hong Tien, Duy, Quoc Long, .
HAN: Gallagher 52', Van Quyet 71', Hector 83'
PUNE PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC's dream of making it into the AFC Champions League Group-Stage came to an end with a 0-3 defeat to Vietnamese-side Hanoi T&T FC at the Shree Shiv chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune on Wednesday. Second-half strikes from defender Sam Gallagher (52nd minute), substitute Nguyen Van Quyet (71st) and midfielder Hector Vaghaun (83rd) saw Hanoi through to the next round of the ACL Play-Offs.
The result now means Pune FC will play in the Group-H of the AFC Cup beginning later in February.
Pune FC had the first best chance of the match in the 19th minute. After winger Anthony D'Souza managed to get into the clear on the left, he drilled a low shot which the Hanoi dkeeper Nguyen Van Cong parried away. The rebound however fell for Gabriel Fernandes who continued run inside the box. With the ball awkwardly falling for the Goan he failed to finish from close range.
Minutes later Gabriel's shot from the right was once again blocked by the defence after striker Riga Mustapha sent him in the clear.At the other end, Pune FC custodian Amrinder Singh kept the visitors at bay with two back-to-back saves denying attackers PT Luong and NN Duy.
Both sides failed to break the deadlock going into the breather tied at goalless. The second half saw Pune FC once again going close in the early exchanges. Medio Arata Izumi saw his cross in from the right cleared followed by Dhanpal Ganesh's low shot straight into the keeper.
Thereafter, Hanoi took charge of the proceedings and scored the opener seven minutes after restart. Australian defender Gallagher jumped the highest inside the box and headed home Thanh Luong's corner in from the left. At the other end, Pune FC kept on pressing ahead in search of the equaliser but were let down by the finishing in the final third.
Midway through the half, the visitors doubled their lead as once again the Pune FC defense was caught napping. Hector, clear on the left, did well to chip a cross into the box and Van Quyet, who timed his run to perfection, did well to head in from close range.With a two-goal lead to protect, Hanoi fell back and began defending deep not allowing any ball to penetrate. This led to Pune FC’s attacking trio of Gabriel, Riga and Anthony being frustrated with their efforts go abegging.
Into the final ten minutes, the visitors scored once more against the run of play. Sent into the clear on the left by Nguyen Hong Tuien, Hector's outside of the boot shot from the left wing ended up in the net on the far side leaving custodian Amrinder Singh helpless.
Pune FC all set for Hanoi T&T FC challenge - 2014.
28.01.2014: PUNE FC MEDIA RELEASE : Pune FC hosts Vietnamese-champions Hanoi T&T FC in a historic AFC Champions League game at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune on Wednesday. The Round-1 Play-Off clash will be the first time ever that India will host any AFC Champions League match and also the first time ever either teams plays in the competition.
With both nations getting the play-off berth after a two-year hiatus, the game is a must win for either side as progression to the second round qualifying beckons.Coached by Phan Thanh Hung, Hanoi ply their trade in the V-League (Vietnam top-flight). They have played four games in the recently started season (three in the league) and currently sit third in the league table with two wins and a loss.
Speaking at the pre-match Press Conference held at the venue of tomorrow's match, Hung said: “This is our first game in the AFC Champions League and we have prepared very hard for it. We have a lot of respect for the home team, but we want to try and win this game.”
Updating on the status of Argentine striker Gonzalo Damian Marronkle, he said "Gonzalo has a small injury. We don't want to risk anything. We will see in today's training session and only make a decision tomorrow." The south-east Asian side, established in 2006, was promoted into the top-flight in 2009. Since then, they have won the league twice (2010, 2013) and finished runners up twice (2011, 2012). Hanoi does carry forward continental experience having played the AFC Cup in 2011. Back then, Hanoi were undefeated at home but were knocked out in the group stage. Talking about the home side Pune FC, Coach Hung elaborated, “They have a good mix of foreign and local players guided by a good coach. But our players are ready and we will try to do our best to get a good result on Wednesday.”
The hosts Pune FC, however, are midway through the season and like their counterparts are also third in the I-League standings (7W-3D-4L after Round-16). Having returned from the recently concluded Federation Cup in Kochi, the team will be raring to go in their first ever appearance on the continental stage.
Pune FC Coach Mike Snoei was happy ahead of the game and explained, "It's an historic moment for the club. In seven years since establishing, Pune FC has come very far making progress on and off the field. Now it is the responsibility of the players to give their all on the biggest stage. "
After playing in a totally different climate in Kerala (referring to Federation Cup), Snoei was pleased to be back playing at home. He said: "The game won’t be easy, but we have beaten big teams like Bengaluru FC, Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan here(in Pune), and we will to take positives from it." Speaking on the current form of the team, he further added, "You can't always be at your best, but now we have to be ready for this big ocassion. I have told my players that the game can go beyond 90 minutes, may be even penalties. "
He added, "Hanoi are the champions of Vietnam and do have a very good team. We need to be cautious and senior players like Douhou Pierre and Calum Angus need to step up. Riga Mustapha needs to prove himself now and bring in the experience of playing at the highest level. We need to score goals as this is just a one leg tie." With home conditions in favour for Pune FC, Coach Mike Snoei will expect a good performance from the 25-member team on hand for selection.
AFC CUp 2014 :Lady Referee ALLYSON CLARE FLYNN : First time to introduce by AFC in AFC CUp MEN's Football ..10.03.2014: Another remarkable day is wating in Asian Football. After Maria Rebello of India who supervised I-League match between Pune FC and Shillong Lajong on 8th which is the Men's main stream Football Tournament of India.
Now tomorrow ASian Football Condeferation - AFC will create the same record as they are going to depute first time an Australian Women Referee to officiate the Men's AFC Cup 2014 Match at Singapore between Home United and Parsipura Jayapura.
The name of the the Lady Referee is ALLYSON CLARE FLYNN who will be incharged as 2nd assistant Referee along with other two Australian male Referees CHRISTOPHER JAMES BEATH as Referee and ASHLEY WARWICK BEECHAM as another Asst. Referee. Mr Ogawa, Head of Referees Depptt of AFC was himself in Singapore will observe the historic moment as AFC Observer.
But This is not the first time for Allyson to officiate in male football. She officiate the opening match of AFC U-16 Championship 2014 Qualifiers Group J between Japan and the Philippines and the second match of the group later between Indonesia and Vietnam.
But that was Junior level, now she will officiate Sr. Level where out of acting 26 (11+11 and 4 Referees) she will only one Female in the pitch. It would be a great experience to Allyson, the AFC Assistant Referee of the Year for Women - 2013
AFC CUP 2014 - PUNE FC - INDIA
TEAMS MP W D L Goal GD Pts Kitchee 6 4 1 1 15:5 +10 13 Nay Pyi Taw 6 2 2 2 10:10 0 8 Tampines 6 2 0 4 9:16 -7 6 Pune 6 1 3 2 12:15 -3 6
AFC CUP 2014 - CHURCILL BROTHERS - INDIA
AFC Cup - 2014 - 2nd Round
Prince Rufus - Match commissioner of AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014/U-14 2013
. 31.10.2014: Mr Prince Rufus ( MIDDLE IN THE LEFT SIDED PICTURE), General Manager of United Mohun Bagan Football Team Pvt Ltd and an AFC Match Commissioner was in Yangon, Myanmar recently for the AFC U-19 Championship Myanmar 2014 held from 9th to 23rd October.
He was there to witness history when hosts Myanmar defeated UAE by a solitary goal in the Quarter final match to book their semi final berth and also obtain the ticket for FIFA U-20 World Cup scheduled at New Zealand next year. Perhaps this is the best ever performance by a South East Asian nation at this level is the last few decades.
Qatar won the Championship defeating DPR Korea in the final match by 1-0. Thus Qatar, DPR Korea, Myanmar and the other losing semi-finalist Uzbekistan will defend Asian pride in the FIFA U-20 World Cup at New Zealand next year.
Mr Prince Rufus was the Match Commissioner of the following matches of this Championship:
1. Myanmar vs Yemen Group A match (0-0)
2. Uzbekistan vs Indonesia Group B match (3-1)
3. Thailand vs Myanmar Group A match (0-3)
4. Indonesia vs Australia Group B match (0-1)
5. Myanmar vs IR Iran Group A match (0-2)
6. Qatar vs Oman Group D match (2-0)
7. Thailand vs Uzbekistan (Quarter final)(1-2)
8. Myanmar vs Qatar (Semi-final) (2-3)
Mr. Prince Rufus, The young Indian from Kolkata was the Match commission of the historical match.
Kolkata youth Prince Rufus also was the match commissioner of some important AFC u-16 matches few months ago, will officiate the following matches of this years AFc Cup 2014 as Match Commissioner. He have some experience in last year AFC cup jr. level matches also as the Match commissioner.
25 Feb, 2014: Group Stage - SAFA SC (LIB) vs THAT RAS CLUB (JOR) -------- Sports City Stadium
AFC Cup: Historic day for Pune FC, down group-leaders Kitchee SC 2-0
22.04.2014 Pune (Ind) 2-0 Kitchee (Hkg)
PFC : PFC : Zohmingliana Ralte 74', 80'
KIT : Guo, Belencoso, Lam Ka Wai, Hon To, Lo Kwan Yee, Cheung, CH Tsang, MF Chan, Tarres, Wan Chun, Jang
PFC : Amrinder, Ranjan, Anas, Gurjinder, Ralte, Mumtaz, Ganesh, Riga, Anthony, Prakash, Mirjan
.. 22.04.2014: PUNE PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC sealed a historic first-ever win on the continental stage defeating Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC 2-0 in a AFC Cup Group-H final round encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Tuesday. Defender Zohmingliana Ralte's second half brace (74th & 80th minute) handed Pune FC a well-deserved win over the Group-H winners. The win, no doubt historic, had Pune FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh save a penalty and the rebound moments after the hosts took the lead.
The three points earned took Pune FC's overall tally to six points but they remained fourth behind Kitchee (13 pts), Nay Pyi Taw (8 pts) and Tampines Rovers (6 pts). Moreover, Pune FC was the not just the only team to stay unbeaten against Kitchee in the group-stage, but also handed the Hong Kong side their first defeat in twenty games in all competitions.
With injuries and suspensions to deal with, Coach Mike Snoei made four changes to the starting lineup handing starts to Mirjan Pavlovic, Prakash Thorat, Dhanpal Ganesh and Salam Ranjan Singh. In an equally fought opening quarter, it was Jorge Tarres who first went close for the visitors. However, the Spaniard's attempt from inside the box on the right ended in the sidenetting. At the other end, Pune FC kept on pushing ahead but were falling short of penetrating into the Kitchee box.
Pune FC first went close in the 22nd minute when Ralte's header off Anthony D’Souza went just over the horizontal. Five minutes later, left-back Gurjinder Kumar beat the offside trap on the left flank to set free only for his direction less cross to go wide. At the other end, the Pune FC defense led by keeper Amrinder Singh held firm as the opponents kept on attacking the Pune FC goal.
Into the final five minutes of the half, Pune FC had a glorious chance to open scoring after Mirjan earned a freekick on the edge of the box. However, Anthony's dipping shot went inches over the horizontal. At the other end, Pune FC had Amrinder to thank once again after the young Punjabi blocked To Hon To’s powerful shot after the winger got into the clear inside the box on the right. Moments later, Amrinder once again produced a save blocking Chan Man Fai's header from close range to keep the score goalless going into the breather.
Coach Mike Snoei made the first change bringing in winger Lester Fernandez in place of Prakash. The move made instant impact as Lester created a chance for Mirjan, but the Australian's header went agonisingly wide. At the other end, Kitchee almost took the lead but Chan Man Fai's effort from the edge of the box off Juan Belencoso’s through ball came off the post.
Five minutes later, Amrinder once again pulled off a great save to keep the hosts in the game. Striker Belencoso controlled a cross inside the box and volleyed on the turn only for an outstretched Amrinder to deny him. At the other end, Pune FC almost went ahead. Lester set up skipper Riga Mustapha on a counter but the Dutchman's effort from the edge of the box went into the sidenetting. Minutes later, Lester's back-to-back chances from the edge of the box went over as Pune FC continued to push.
Pune FC dominance finally paid off as they took the lead in the 74th minute. Right-back Ralte's scored with thumping header at the far post on Anthony's corner kick in from the left. The home side's celebrations were cut short as Kitchee were handed a lifeline a minute later at the other end. After Amrinder brought down Lam Ka Wai inside the box, the referee pointed to the spot. However, Amrinder made up for his mistake saving Belencoso's penalty kick and blocking the rebound form Tarres.
Charged up after Amrinder's moment of genius in the Pune FC goal, the home side began to attack and earned another corner in the 80th minute. Ralte once again headed home the corner at the far post taken by Lester on the left to complete his brace. Pune FC kept their calm and held on to their two goal lead in the final ten minutes to seal the much deserved win.
AFC Cup 2014: Pune FC, Nay Pyi Taw FC play out a thrilling 3-3 draw
08.04.2014 : Nay Pyi Taw FC 3-3 Pune FC. (MYN - FT.)
NPT : Vanlal, Chan Chan, L K K Aye, Aung, Delgado, Win, Piedi, A K Naing, Obadin, Lin, Y L Naing. PFC : Arup, Calum, Ranjan, Gurjinder, Ralte (Ramu 58'), Arata, Douhou, Anthony, Prakash, Gabriel, Mirjan (Haokip 13').
.. FT Brilliant play of Pune FC hold Nay Pyi Taw FC 3-3 in Away match.
90': 3 minute added time.
81': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Pune Equalized 3-3 through Calum.
75': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Nay Pyi Taw FC leading 3-2. Htoo scored the 3rd goal
62': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NTZ Win Equalized 2-2.
57': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Arata Lead 2-1 to Pune after Douhou's penalty missing in 52nd Minutes.
42': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Ney Pay equalized the scoreline 1-1 through N.Z Aung..
36': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Haokip scored fro Pune FC.
PUNE FC PRESS RELEASE: 08.04.2013 : Pune FC were unlucky not to get all three points as they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against Nay Pyi Taw FC in an AFC Cup Group-H Round-5 encounter at the Paung Laung Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on Tuesday. Substitute striker Thongkhoseim Haokip (36th minute) put Pune FC ahead in the first half before striker Aung Naing (42nd) equalised for the hosts three minutes before the break.
Pune FC once again took the lead in the second half through medio Arata Izumi (55th) before strikes from Nyien Tazar Win (62nd) and substitute Khaing Htoo (72nd) put Nay Pyi Taw in the lead. However, defender Calum Angus struck in the 80th minute to pull Pune FC level. Despite creating the maximum close chances in the game, Pune FC fell short of attaining their first-ever win on the continental stage and their misery was further compounded with skipper Douhou Pierre missing a penalty early on in the second half.
Moreover, Pune FC's third draw in the group-stage saw them stay fourth in the table with 3 points and virtually ended their hopes of progression to the next round. Coach Mike Snoei made five changes to the lineup handing starts to Arup Debnath, Gurjinder Kumar, Arata Izumi, Prakash Thorat and Mirjan Pavlovic.
In scorching hot conditions, it was Nay Pyi Taw who took the initiative in the opening exchanges with Pune FC defending deep before finally settling down. While settling into the game, Pune FC received a blow in the tenth minute when striker Pavlovic limped off after defender Obadin Gabriel's heavy tackle on him and was replaced by Haokip.
As the hosts pushed up and started creating chances, Pune FC had custodian Arup to thank as he pulled of a string of saves. First he acrobatically tipped over striker Carlos Delgado's shot from the left and then denied Zaw Lin from close range. After half chances at either end, Pune FC finally took the lead in the 36th minute. With the NPT goalkeeper Vanlal Hruai failing to clear a long diagonal ball into the box, Haokip capitalised and headed into an empty net for his first goal on the continental stage.
Six minutes later, a minor error cost Pune FC as the hosts equalised. After Arata lost the ball in the midfield, Michele Di Piedi quickly switched play to the right where Aung ran into space and scored at the far post to pull the hosts level going into the breather.
The second half was a different story as Pune FC began dominating proceedings. However, in the initial exchanges, the hosts had striker Michele Di Piedi go close twice but was denied by Arup on both occasions. Six minutes after restart, Pune FC had a glorious opportunity to take the lead as winger Gabriel Fernandes earned a penalty. However, skipper Douhou Pierre failed to capitalised and saw his spot kick being saved by the ‘keeper.
Nonetheless, Pune FC took the lead three minutes later. Substitute Nicolau Borges - on for Anthony D'Souza - did well to find Gurjinder who moved in from the left and played Arata through. The India-international controlled the ball finished with a first time left-footed attempt to put Pune FC 2-1 up.
However, Pune FC's joy was once again short-lived as the hosts equalised seven minutes later. Attacker N T W controlled a diagonal ball and beat substitute Srikanth Ramu before pulling Nay Pyi Taw level for the second time. At the other end, Pune FC had Haokip and Douhou go wide from distance as they continued to push up.
However, ten minutes later, it was Nay Pyi Taw who once again scored against the run of play. On a counter attack, substitute Htoo somehow curled his shot from the edge of the box on the left, into the far corner which hit the inside of the second post, to put the hosts ahead for the first time in the match.
Having fallen behind, Pune FC began pushing up aggressively and almost camped into the opponents' half pumping balls into the box trying to get something. Pune FC's persistence paid off as Calum pulled them level in the 80th minute. Pressing their opponents constantly, Pune FC managed to open up space for Calum who drilled in a low shot at the near post from 30-yards out to set up a grand stand finish.
Into the final ten minutes, it was end to end action as both sides kept on attacking in search of the winner. With Nay Pyi Taw pushing further up, custodian Arup kept his cool blocking all attacks inside the Pune FC box. At the other end Prakash, having a great game, almost got the winner. However, the Pune-born striker's header off Douhou’s freekick was saved by Hruai from point blank range.
Into injury time, Pune FC went agonisingly close almost scoring the winner. Douhou got into the clear and rounded off the keeper inside the box but failed to slot in. However, Haokip won back the ball from a defender and cut back for Gabriel who blasted over from 10-yards out as the game ended 3-3.
AFC Cup 2014 - PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC eager to keep qualification hopes alive; face Nay Pyi Taw FC. Pune FC will be eager to keep their hopes of qualification to the AFC Cup knockout stage alive when they face Myanmar-side Nay Pyi Taw FC in a crucial Group-H Round-5 encounter at the Paung Luang Stadium, in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday.
Going into the game on the back of two consecutive losses at home in different competitions, Pune FC will be keen to shrug off their disappointing run and will seek their first ever win on the continental stage.
Moreover, with qualification hopes now hanging by a thread, Pune FC (4th, 2 pts) will hope to bounce back to winning ways after losing back-to-back games against Singapore's Tampines Rovers at the turn over point of the group stage.
On the other hand, Nay Pyi Taw (3rd, 4 pts) too comes into the game on the back of a disappointing run in the competition. After drawing their opening game 2-2 in Pune, Nay Pyi Taw beat Tampines in Myanmar before losing back-to-back games against group leaders Kitchee SC at home and away.
Thus the clash on the morrow will be an equally crucial one for both sides to keep their aspirations of a second place finish alive. Nay Pyi Taw are currently sitting top of the Myanmar National League with six wins in nine games and will hope to bring that form onto the continental stage.
The hosts will be heavily banking on Italian striker Michele Di Piedi (6 goals) and attacker Aung Kyaw Naing (4 goals) to get the goals upfront. However, they will be missing services of Korean playmaker Jung Yoon-Sik, their top-scorer in the AFC Cup with two goals.
After a long three stop journey, Pune FC arrived in Nay Pyi Taw on Sunday and had only one training session prior to the game at the Paung Luang Stadium on Monday. Speaking at the pre-match Press Conference, Pune FC Coach Mike Snoei said, "It's nice to be here, we call it Burma. We cannot prepare (for this game). This is a different location, and we had a very long trip from airport (to reach Nay Pyi Taw). Overall it was a 22-hour journey.”
Snoei further added, "So instead of training yesterday after arrival, I gave my team an off. They were completely dead, very tired. We also played a game three days ago, so to recover they really needed the rest. So we train today (referring to the session at 4pm), this is something (training once) we are doing for the first time."
Responding to a question on the hectic schedule of I-League and the AFC Cup, Snoei said, "Your (Myanmar's) federation is very smart. They postponed their competition game to give your team (NPT) rest. It is very smart of them and (this) is done in Europe as well. But for us, we have to play, travel and then play again in a quick period."
Skipper Douhou Pierre was positive ahead of the game and said, "We have a chance but we need to do well in our two games including the one at home for that. The possibility of qualification is not over, but then that will all depend on other results as well."
On the Pune FC team news front defender Nicolau Borges has been drafted into the 18-man squad as medio Dhanpal Ganesh misses out. Having played out a 2-2 draw with Nay Pyi Taw in the AFC Cup opener at home, Pune FC will be hoping to reverse fortunes and get all three points on the morrow.
01.04.2014 PUNE FC 2-5 TAMPINES ROVERS (PUNE - FT)
PFC : Amrinde, Calum, Anas, Ranjan, Arata, Mumtaz, Riga, Douhou, Anthony, Gabriel, Mirjan
TAM : Jumaat, Ismadi, Mustafic, Shariff, Shahdan, Duric, Miljan, Anaz, Kawakami, Jamil, Closa.
68': GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAALLL : 5-2 - Duric
60': GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAALLL :4-2, 4th goal of Tampines Mustafic Fahrudin..
53': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 3-2, Tampines increase the scoreline through Duric..
43': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 2-2, Tampines equalized the scoreline through Jamil.
15': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 2-1, Anthony scored for Pune FC .
13': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 1-1. Pune Riga assisted by Douhou.
5': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 1-0, Tampines Rovers scored goal through Mrdakovic.
PFC Press Release: 01.04.2014 : Pune FC miss chances; go down 2-5 to Tampines Rovers. Missed chances throughout the match hit Pune FC hard as they went down 2-5 to Tampines Rovers in an AFC Cup Round-4 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Tuesday. Striker Miljan Mrdakovic (5th minute) put Tampines ahead before two quick goals from attacker Riga Mustapha (12th) and winger Anthony D'Souza (14th) put Pune FC ahead.
Winger Jamil Ali (44th) scored right at the death in the first half to restore parity going into the breather. Thereafter, second half strikes from striker Aleksandar Duric (57th & 69th) and defender Mustafic Fahrudin (60th Pen) handed Tampines a comfortable win.
With their second consecutive loss against the Singapore side, Pune FC blew the chance of moving up in the standings and stay fourth in Group-H behind Kitchee SC (10 pts), Tampines Rovers (6 pts) and Nay Pyi Taw FC (4 pts). Coach Mike Snoei made three changes to the starting lineup bringing in goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, winger Anthony and defender Anas Edathodika in place of Arup Debnath, Zohmingliana Ralte and Srikanth Ramu.
Pune FC had a worst start to the game when striker Mrdakovic put the visitors ahead in the fifth minute. The striker headed home winger Jamil's cross in from the right after getting into free space on the edge of the box after the defense line had moved up. However, Pune FC bounced back immediately scoring twice inside two minutes around the quarter hour mark. First, Riga controlled skipper Douhou Pierre’s perfect through pass down the middle before rounding off the keeper and scoring from inside the box.
Couple minutes later, Anthony scored his second goal in as many games to put Pune FC ahead. The winger combined with Riga on the left flank before going a solo past three defenders. Anthony then created space inside the box and drilled a right-footer into the roof of the net to send the home fans into frenzy. Pune FC dominated proceedings thereafter but missed a host of simple chances to increase their lead.
The visitors hit back at the other end equalising a minute from the break. An unmarked winger Jamil scored from inside the box after controlling Mustafic's long freekick from the halfline as both sides went into the break tied at 2-2. In the second half, Pune FC attacked from the word go and went close through striker Mirjan Pavlovic on a couple of occasions.
However Tampines took the lead at the other end. Medio Closa Gonzalez made his way into the box on the left near the goalline and squared the ball to Duric who tapped into an empty net. Three minutes later, the visitors increased their lead with skipper Mustafic converting from the penalty spot after defender Zohmingliana Ralte – on for the injured Anas Edathodika - handled the ball inside the box.
Seven minutes later, Duric completed his brace controlling Jamil’s through ball down the middle before finishing past helpless Amrinder. Pune FC thereafter created a host of chances but once again were let down by poor finishing. Pavlovic was denied twice by the woodwork, while Anthony, Gurjinder Kumar and Thongkhosiem Haokip all went close.
========================= PREVIEW ==========================================
AFC Cup 2014 (PFC PRESS RELEASE) 31.03.2014 :: Pune FC face Tampines Rovers in a must-win game. Pune FC will be keen to log their first-ever win on the continental stage when they host Singapore's Tampines Rovers in a must-win Group-H Round-4 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, in Pune on Tuesday.
Despite taking the lead in first half, Pune FC went down 1-3 to the same opponents in the previous round couple weeks ago and thus will seek revenge at this turn-over stage of the competition. For Pune FC (2 pts), who are at the bottom in Group-H behind Kitchee (7 pts), Nay Pyi Taw (4 pts) and Tampines Rovers (3 pts), a win will boost their hopes of qualification to the next round.
The Singapore-side then had a one-hour pre-match practice session at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex under lights on Monday evening. The 26-man team is as follows
Goalkeepers : Mohammed Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Muhammad Ridhuan Barudin
Midfielders : Ismadi Muhammad Mukhtar, Fahrudin Mustafic, Shahdan Sulaiman, Mohd Imran Sahib, Mohamed Jamil, Zhiwei Ang, Closa Gonzalez Luis Alberto
Defenders : Muhammad Jufri Taha, Muhammad Shariff Abdul Samat, Mohammad Shaiful Esah Nian, Anaz Abdul Hadee, Matthew Abraham, Norihiro Kawakami
Forwards : Aleksandar Duric, Mdrakovic Miljan, Mohd Noh Alam Shah Kamarezaman
Moreover, with seven games at home, away and overseas slated in the next four weeks, a win will be vital for Pune FC's morale going into the hectic schedule. Speaking at the pre-match Press Conference, Pune FC Coach Mike Snoei said, "It's our last chance to stay in contention and we will go for a good win. Tampines is not an easy opponent but we definitely want revenge for our loss against them in the last game."
Snoei also mentioned that both I-League and the AFC Cup are equally important for Pune FC, "Last year we (Pune FC) fought very hard to qualify for the AFC Cup. I want to too see our team's ability on the Asian level. But again, I-League is also an important competition for us." We will be using our experienced players tomorrow and will give everything. We will not risk anything and we must prove tomorrow that we are a better team," he added when asked about the team composition.
Echoing his coach's sentiments, Pune FC skipper Douhou Pierre said, "If we get all three points tomorrow, we will be in a better position when we go to Myanmar (to play Nay Pyi Taw) and then host Kitchee in Pune. It's a last chance for us tomorrow and we need to win." Coached by the former Singapore-international Salim Moin, Tampines plies its trade in the S-League and presently occupy the first place in the standings.
Currently making their fourth consecutive and seventh overall appearance in the AFC Cup (2005-07 & 2011-13), Tampines' best ever finish was reaching the quarterfinals in 2005, 2006 and 2007. peaking about hosts Pune FC, Tampines Rovers Coach Salim Moin said, "It is great to be here in Pune. The home side, Pune FC have provided us with great facilities." "I respect the opponents despite our win in the previous round. However, this is a different ball game, so we want to approach it carefully," he further added. Talking about his squad, he added, "We had a tough game in S-League this weekend. Hopefully we can overcome the jetlag. Injury-wise, we will only make a decision today afternoon."
When asked about his aim for the game, “We look at this game as a very important one. A win or a draw will be equally good for us.” Tampines skipper Mustafic Fahrudin said, "It's going to be a tough game. Pune FC is a good team and they played well in Singapore, but we managed to score goals against them. Tomorrow it’s going to be an open game, and hopefully we get a point here.”
The three-time S-League defending champions have notched up five wins out of five in their domestic campaign this season and go into the game on the back of four consecutive wins in all competitions. On the other hand, while making their maiden AFC Cup appearance, Pune FC are at the business end of their I-League campaign and currently sit third in the table with four matches remaining.
Having travelled throughout the last month to play four away games in Hong Kong, Singapore, Goa and Bengaluru, Pune FC will be happy to be back in familiar surrounds and will hope to make the home advantage count.
AFC Cup 2014: Pune FC keen for first continental win; take on Tampines Rovers in Singapore
18.03.2014: PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC is keen to log their first win on the continental stage when they face Singapore champions Tampines Rovers FC in an AFC Cup Round-3 encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Wednesday. Two draws in the opening two rounds makes this Group H tie important for third-placed Pune FC (2 points) as qualification to the next round beckons at this turn-off stage of the competition.
INDIAN TEAMS AGAINST TEMPINES ROVERS IN AFC CUP EARLIER
Like Pune FC, the hosts were also involved in the AFC Champions League play-offs and suffered a first-round defeat to Hong Kong's South China (1-2 after extra time) before coming into the AFC Cup. Tampines, who have won the domestic title for the last three years in a row, are making their fourth consecutive and seventh overall appearance in the AFC Cup (2005-07 & 2011-13); with their best ever finish being reaching the quarterfinals in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Nonetheless, Pune FC Coach Mike Snoei is confident going into the game after his side held Kitchee to a draw despite going two goals down in the first half itself in their first-ever overseas game.
The Dutchman was however wary of the artificial turf and speaking at the pre-match Press Conference, he said, "In India it is 50-50; some of the teams in the I-League play on this surface but we play on natural grass, so it is very different for us. But like everything in Singapore, the quality is fantastic and we are looking forward to it."
On the opponents, Snoei further added, "We were present at the weekend game that featured Tampines Rovers. We've seen them play and made our assessments. We are ready for them." Having already had three training sessions during a rain-hit weekend, Pune FC can hope for similar cold and damp conditions on matchday with more rain expected throughout the week.
On the team news front, Pune FC has called in the services of experienced defender Othallo Tabia in place of medio Dhanpal Ganesh who serves a one-match suspension for receiving two yellow cards. The defender flew to Singapore couple days back and has been a part of all the training sessions. But Snoei, going by the run his team has, is likely not to be making much changes.
Pune FC is eager to break the sequence of four consecutive draws in all competitions with a first win on foreign soil. But skipper Anas Edathodika expects a cautious approach from the team, "They are a tough lot. The win on the weekend and playing at home should have propped them up. It will be tough. We are ready to give our 100 percent and aim to gain maximum from this game."'
The hosts will be banking heavily on the strike pair of Bosnia-born Singapore international Aleksandar Duric and Serbian Miljan Mrdakovic. For the record, 43-year-old Duric is the only player to have scored more than 300 goals in the S-League and has been the league’s top-scorer on four occasions.
On the other hand, Mrdakovic is in top form having netted four times in three domestic league games this season. While speaking to the media, Tampines Rovers Coach Salim Moin said, "The belief is always (there); I believe in my players and I believe that they can do better. They know themselves and (regarding) the result, they can get it."
Moin further added, "Seven days with three matches is quite hectic for the boys but I would say that would not be an excuse and hopefully the players will come back strongly. We will still fight, we will never say die." Echoing the same sentiment, skipper Mustafic Fahruddin said, "The players know the importance of the game and are ready for the battle. Playing at home, (we will) try to get the advantage and win and after that everything opens; the group becomes open again."
In a game of two halves, hosts Kitchee took a two goal lead in the first half through goals from defender Fernando Recia (28th minute) and striker Juan Belencoso (42nd). However, second half strikes from substitute Mirjan Pavlovic (55th) and winger Gabriel Fernandes (74th) restored parity for Pune FC.
It was not only the half-time introduction of Mirjan and defender Gurjinder Kumar that did the trick for Pune FC in getting the goals up front, but also goalkeeper Amrinder Singh's heroics in the second half that kept Pune FC in the game. Incidentally, Amrinder turned out to be a hate figure with a fan literally cursing him for all his deeds for Pune FC under lights.
The point earned from this game took Pune FC's overall tally to two points in as many games and they now stay third in the group behind leaders Kitchee (4 points) and Nay Pyi Taw FC (4 pts). Coach Mike Snoei made three changes to the starting lineup handing starts to defender Anas Edathodika, medio Fanai Lalrempuia and Arata Izumi in place of Salam Ranjan Singh, Anthony D’Souza and Pavlovic.
Both sides began the game cautiously in cold, damp and slippery conditions. Seven minutes in, it was Pune FC who went close first. Arata cut back to Douhou Pierre from the left and the playmaker sent him through. However, Arata's attempt from the edge of the box sailed over. At the other end, Kitchee went close on a couple of occasions. First, winger Cheung Kun Fung's dangerous low cross in from the left was gathered by custodian Amrinder Singh before parrying away defender Fernando’s chipped attempt at the goal from outside the box.
Midway through the half, Anas' poor back pass inside the box was capitalised on by medio Xu Deshuai who beat Amrinder but the Pune FC skipper tracked back to clear the danger. At the other end, Pune FC went close on a corner, but the home side's defense held firm to clear the danger. Two minutes from the half hour mark, the hosts took the lead on a counter attack after Pune FC lost the ball in the midfield. Fernando set on a run down the left and combined with fellow Spaniard Belencoso before scoring from the edge of the box.
At the other end, Pune FC went close couple of times as they began to dominate possession. Three minutes past the half hour mark, Riga Mustapha was sent clear inside the box by winger Gabriel but his heavy first touch took the ball wide and he failed to take a shot. The game was well balanced going into the final five minutes of the half. However, another poor pass from Pune FC in the midfield saw Kitchee increase their lead. A quick counter attack from the right saw striker Belencoso heading home winger Xu Deshuai’s deep cross in from the right at the far post.
Pune FC went into the breather trailing by two goals. Coach Snoei introduced Mirjan and Gurjinder Kumar in place of Fanai Lalrempuia and Arata at the start of the second half. The move saw made the difference as Pune FC came out of their shell and started pushing up to dominate proceedings.
Eight minutes in, Riga went close from the edge of the box. However, his low shot was blocked by the defense and the rebound fell for Gabriel who failed to control. Two minutes later, Pune FC pulled one back. A quick move on the left saw Gurjinder and Riga combining before the substitute’s low cross into the box was tapped home by Mirjan on the slide from six-yards out.
Moments later, Gurjinder's drive from long range was parried away by Kitchee custodian Wang Zhenpeng. At the other end, Amrinder kept Pune FC in the game with a couple of brilliant saves. First, an outstretched dive to his right to right to save a freekick, and minutes later, he kept his cool to deny Belencoso in a one-on-one situation inside the box.
Midway through the half, Gabriel showed his predatory instincts to pull Pune FC level. Douhou played a long diagonal ball on the left for Gurjinder who controlled and sent in a low cross inside the box. Gabriel timed his run to perfection rushing inside to score on the slide beating off a challenge from the defender.
Pune FC kept on pressing ahead restricting Kitchee to a few counter attacks. However, it was keeper Amrinder whose constant saves helped Pune FC remain in the game. Adding to his earlier saves, the India-international produced two more back-to-back diving saves. First he denied Desuhai on a volley from the edge of the box followed by a save to block Chan’s dangerous long-range shot.
Into the final ten minutes, skipper Anas was substituted by Ranjan Singh after taking a blow on his head. Pune FC pushed ahead in search of a winner in the final minutes but the game ended 2-2.