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I-League Round-8: I-League: Unbeaten Pune FC take on Sporting Goa.

01.11.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

PUNE FC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC will be eager to extend their 10-match unbeaten run when they take on Sporting Clube de Goa in a crucial I-League Round-8 encounter at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa in Goa on Saturday. The only undefeated side in the ongoing season (2013-14), Pune FC's unbeaten run stretches from last season and includes nine wins and a draw.

The game will also be Pune FC's first visit to the coastal state this season which will be followed by two more trips later in this month. Goa - one of the visitors' happy-hunting grounds - has seen Pune FC secure nine wins in fifteen I-League games over four seasons. The visitors go into the game in good form after three consecutive home wins and are currently second in the table behind Salgaocar with 13 points from five games. However, a result with maximum points against Sporting with the correct margin will propel Pune FC to the top spot.

Headed by Spanish Coach Oscar Bruzon, Sporting - a free flowing side - have scored in each of their six league games so far and currently sit two places below Pune FC in the fourth place with 10 points. The hosts' have added more Spanish flavour bringing in medio Arturo Navarro and defender Gonzalo Neila into the squad. They, along with long-serving Nigerian medio Ogba Kalu and Pratesh Shirodkar continue to drive the team.

On the other hand, the Goans will be missing services of former Pune FC striker and currently their top-scorer Boima Karpeh who picked up a late red card in their 1-3 loss to Mohammedan SC in the last game at Duler. Sporting, however, have options to replace him upfront, with current India international Dawson Fernandes and the pacy Victorino Fernandes out to prove themselves.

The North-Goan outfit will be a tough nut to crack for the in-form visitors, as they look to bounce back from their previous round loss in the hot and humid conditions on the artificial turf at Duler. Even though it will be Pune FC's first competitive game at Duler, they do have experience of the venue, having played a pre-season friendly here earlier in the season. Also the fact that the visitors have notched six wins in their past eight visits to Goa will definitely boost their morale.

On the team news front, new signing Mustapha Riga is all set to make his debut for Pune FC. Having missed the last game due to paperwork issues, the Dutch national will now hope to hit the ground running. The visitors' attack spearheaded by Riga, James Meyer, Douhou Pierre and Nikhil Kadam will be looking to breach the defence which has managed to keep only two clean-sheets until now while conceding eight goals in six games so far.

In previous three meetings against Sporting in Goa, Pune FC have scored two goals on each occasion. The results however, have been a mixed affair, with a win, a loss and a draw in three seasons so far. For the visitors, midfielders Arata Izumi and Douhou Pierre have netted in the past against the Goans, while Kalu and Dawson have netted against Pune FC in Sporting colours.

In six meeting so far, Pune FC have only lost once while logging two wins and three draws against Sporting. A win on the morrow will not only strengthen their record against the hosts but also fortify their overall record in Goa. A positive result against Sporting will also help Pune FC match their longest-ever unbeaten streak off 11 matches (24/11/2011 to 28/01/2012 - Season 2011-12) giving them a chance of extending it further.

I-League Round-8: Bengaluru FC keen to get back on track. Blues Face Mumbai FC in Pune

01.11.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

BFC FC PRESS RELEASE : Bengaluru FC will look to bounce back from last week's defeat against East Bengal when they take on Mumbai FC in what is the first of an important two away games that club plays at the Balewadi Sports Complex within a week. Bengaluru FC are on the same points (13) with league leaders Salgaocar and Pune FC but are third on goal difference.

"We are determined to get back on track. Two away games in four days will be a good test for us and it's important that the team stays focused and does everything to ensure positive performances, 'said Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood on the eve of the game.

Mumbai FC are going through a run they would like to end for certain, having picked up just one point from their last four games and the Khalid Jamil-coached team would look to buck the trend at home. However, they will take on Bengaluru FC without their influential skipper Haroon Amiri. The Afghanistan player was sent off in Mumbai FC's 3-2 defeat to

Shillong Lajong last week and his absence at the heart of defence is something Bengaluru would do well to capitalise on. Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri said the team is focused and is keen to do well on Saturday. 'An away game is always a challenge but we have been training well and hope we can swing the result our way against Mumbai FC,' said Chhetri.

The Blues have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season and the loss to East Bengal was the only game where Westwood's boys haven't scored. They next play Pune FC on November 6. '

I-League Round-8: Shillong Lajong FC vs Mohammedan Sporting.

01.11.2013 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

SLFC MEDIA PRESS RELEASE : Shillong Lajong FC will take on Mohammedan Sporting in the 8th round of matches in the I-League on 2nd November, 2013 at the J.N.Stadium, Shillong at 4:30PM. This will be the first time these two teams will square off in the I-league after Mohammedan were promoted to the I-League this season.

After 5 matches at home, Lajong are still looking for their first home win in the league. Speaking in a press conference today, Shillong Lajong coach, Thangboi Singto said, "We will play to win, hopefully the best team wins tomorrow." The hosts were unlucky to still end the last game against Churchill Brothers in a draw after losing their one goal lead in stoppage time. Singto added,"It was disappointing to concede the second goal but as a team we have improved and we will look for three points tomorrow." The Reds will be without star striker Cornell Glen and Japanese midfielder Taisuke Matsugae is doubtful for tomorrow’s game.

However, they have the services of Korean defender, Minchol Son, who has been their pillar in defense and with UIlliams finding his scoring touch. Lajong may just have the upper hand with the home fans eagerly awaiting their first victory at home. Minchol Son added," It will be very interesting tomorrow and we must prepare well. We will give all our emotion, passion and everything we have."

Mohammedan Sporting will go into the game this Saturday with a lot of confidence after a good run of matches in the I-League. The visitors have two wins and a draw in their previous three matches, including their 3-0 win against Lajong rivals, Rangdajied United here in Shillong. Mohammedan coach, Abdul Aziz Moshood was "happy" to be in Shillong and having familiarized themselves with the weather, the weather factor will not be a problem. The coach is worried at the injuries amounting in the squad but he will be looking towards the services of Tolgay Ozbey and Josimar who have constantly been finding the back of the net for their team.

The two teams have faced each other before in the 2nd division of the I-League in which Lajong emerged the winners and the fans' expectations are amounting for Lajong to get yet another win in the I-League tie this Saturday as well. Shillong Lajong are just two points ahead of Mohammedan Sporting in the league table, with nine points from seven matches. The Reds will see themselves in the top four if they come up with a win against the Kolkata side in tomorrow’s match.