ROUND - 17
19.01.2013 : PREVIEW: Pune FC to face Sporting Goa tomorrow
Pune FC has several reasons to look for a positive outcome when they host Sporting Clube Goa in an I-League Round-17 encounter at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge Balewadi, on Sunday. To begin with, Pune FC is still smarting over their defeat to Prayag United SC and will be keen to exploit the home advantage they have over the Goans. In the previous two encounters, between Pune FC and Sporting Goa, at Pune the former has always earned points.
While the focus is on maximum gains, Pune FC also face the task of rebuilding themselves into a Top-2 position they worked into three rounds back until AIFF's decision on Mohun Bagan pushed them down to 4th place currently. Ironically, Pune FC goes into return-leg game against Sporting Clube after suffering a hiccup in their campaign. In the first-leg, Pune FC hoped to forget the 2-2 draw they played against United Sikkim FC and this time the 0-2 loss in Kolkata.
In fact, it was between this period (Round 8 to 16) that Pune FC enjoyed a seven-match unbeaten run that led to lateral movement on the league table. Coach Derrick Pereira says, "We are looking to get back to winning ways. We've had a good 10 days gap between the last match and now to prepare mentally and work on areas where we needed to fine tune."
"We are all set for the match. At this point all teams are equal cannot take (Sporting) them lightly. I am expecting a good show by my boys."Sporting Clube, currently placed in the bottom half of the table, go into the game with desperately looking for some consistency in their run. The team, like a host of other teams has changed their coach mid-way through the season and has Spaniard Oscar Burzon in charge in the last 6 games.
A switch in their style of play and a new goalkeeper in Bruno, incidentally their fourth of the season add up to the changes as they seek a transformation in fortunes. Medio Ogba Kalu remains their key-player, who tops with 7 goals and is ably supported by Sporting's long-serving left winger in Jo Pereira who himself scored 4 goals. Japanese attacking recruit Seiya Sugishita has also impressed netting 3 times in 10 appearances.
With the prospects of new goalkeeper Bruno likely tomorrow, his first test will be against Pune FC top-scorer James Moga. The South-Sudan striker, an ex-Sporting Club Goa player, has 7 goals to his credit and will be looking to keep the momentum going.
Having gone through their paces early morning, the Pune FC Coach kept away from talk of starting with the advantage. '"I've seen a couple of Sporting (Clube Goa) games they were good in patches… Inexperience at times showed up. For us we will look for the opportunity and be patient for our opportunity.”
Earlier, in the first leg at Goa, Pune FC prevailed 2-1 and a positive result will double the record which is something they have not achieved in the past 2 seasons. Pune FC, meanwhile, have made three changes to the squad that played in the last round. Goalkeeper Shahinlal Meloly, defender Zohmingliana Ralte and wing-half Vellington Rocha come in place of Amrinder Singh, Caitano Costa and Mohanraj.
The home side will also miss the services of striker Jeje Lalpekhlua who is yet to recover from injury to his a left-leg ankle. Jeje was injured in Shillong. '"Yes Jeje is out and is expected to be back for the next match,” informed Pune FC Coach.
Past games between the Pune FC and the Goans have produced on an average 4 goals, barring the last game in Fatorda. There has only even been 1 clean-sheet in their 5 top-flight matches and the 2 encounters at Balewadi have also seen 4 goals. While the home side will bank on Moga, Arata Izumi, Douhou Pierre, Chika Wali and Subash Singh have also netted in the past verses Sporting Goa. Interestingly, Moga last season had netted for Sporting Clube and will hope to come good for Pune FC this time.
18.01.2013: East Bengal to Meet Churchill at home while United SC will face Mumbai Fc in awaw tomorrow.
East Bengal will face current League Leader Churchill Brothers in the 17th round of I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium tomorrow. he first leg East Bengal beat Subhash Bhowmick's Churchill Brothers 3-0 in the 6th round away match. The former I-League champions currently at the top of the standings with 34 points from 14 matches.
Churchill Brothers technical director Subhash Bhowmick told that, despite th lost of 1st leg at home match the team is still unbeaten in their next 8 matches but he said Morgan's team is a good side promise to see a good match tomorrow.
Their Key player Beto scored 11 Goals so far in 12 matches and their foreigner Akram Mograbi also scored 8 goals with hattrick in 14 matches.
The Kolkata giants have suffered three losses but in last match East Bengal won at home against Mumbai Fc 2-0 while Churchill Brothers won the away against United Sikkim by 2-1. Chidi Edeh also played all matches so far for East Bengal and scored 11 goals with one hattrick. East Bengal played 2 matches so far in the season against Churchill Brothers, one in Fed Cup and another in 1st leg of I-League with both win, which will give them some confidence ahead of the match.
East Bengal - Currently 2nd in the table with 33 points will be missing Sanju Pradhan because of injury but their midfielder Khabra may return in the squad after injury.
In another match, Kolkata team United SC will face Khalid Jamil's Mumbai FC tomorrow at Pune. In the first leg Mumbai Fc beat United SC 3-2 at their away match in Kolkata. Yakubu scored a brilliant goal in the injury time to make the 2-2 scoreline to 3-2 for them.
In the last match United SC tokk revenge and beat Sporting Goa 2-0 at home match in Kalyani while Mumbai FC lost to East Bengal in same margin at Kalyani also. After the 15th January AIFF meeting's decision Mumbai Fc got 1 point from Mohun Bagan match and United SC got 3 from same them Mohun Bagan for the reason United SC now in 5th with 26 points while Mumbai Fc is in 6 th Position with 21 points of the League Table.
United much depends upon their Nigerian Striker Ranti who scored 17 goals so far with 2 hattriks and another brilkiant defender Bello rasaq but they will miss the free kick master Carlos as he returns in his home for his father's death.
Mumbai Side will depends upon their two foreigners Yusif Yakubu, ND Opara in upfront with help of Nicholas Rodrigues, Gabriel Fernandes. Their another foreigher and Captain Amiri made a mistake in East Bengal match which East Bengal got a prnalty award but Chidi missed the spot kick.
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