INDIAN FOOTBALL : I-LEAGUE 2014-15 REPORT
I-LEAGUE 2014-15 : Shillong Lajong lost Pune FC 0-1 AT HOME
24.05.2015 : SHILLONG LAJONG ---- 0-1
PFC : Zohmingliana Ralte 5'
PFC : AMRINDER,LUCIANO,DARKO,ARATA,ISFAQ,RALTE,SUEOKA,GANESH,HAOKIP,RAMU,MUNMUN
SLF : BHUTIA,GLEN,MINCHOLSON,KHELEMBA,TAMANG,GURUNG,MILAN,HAOKIP,ZODINGLIANA,LENN,PENN
PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC recorded a stunning 1-0 win and completed a double over Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League Round-21 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday.
An early goal from defender Zohmingliana Ralte (5th minute) handed Pune FC their second consecutive and eight overall win in the campaign. Moreover, the victory was also Pune FC's third over Lajong this season having previously beaten them in the Federation Cup (December) and the I-League (January).
The three points earned took Pune FC's tally to 29 points from 19 games as they stay in the fifth place behind East Bengal (29 pts) on goal difference. Going into the game, Asst. Coach Gift Raikhan made one change to the squad with Ishfaq Ahmed replacing Edgar Marcelino in the starting lineup.
Pune FC had the perfect start to the game taking the lead in the 5th minute. Arata's in-swinging delivery on a corner kick from the left flank put Lajong custodian Kunzang Bhutia under pressure. With the keeper failing to clear the ball Ralte capitalised to head home from close range after the ball came off the woodwork for his first goal of the season.
Having taken the lead, Pune FC continued to push ahead and created a couple more close chances in the following ten minutes. In the seventh minute, Ishfaq Ahmed set up striker Darko Nikac on the left. The Montenegro-international cut inside, created space and let fly from distance but his effort was saved by Bhutia.
While at the other end, hosts Lajong had a few half chances, Pune FC went close once again in the 16th minute. This time striker Thongkhosiem Haokip created space and tried to lay off for playmaker Ryuji Sueoka rushing into the box but the pass had too much power.
Five minutes later, it was Ishfaq who went close. The Kashmiri midfielder ran solo on the left flank before cutting in and taking a crack on goal. The effort sailed just over the horizontal.
Thereafter, Lajong began to dominate proceedings. The hosts kept control of the possession for long durations as Pune FC were restricted to a handful of counter attacks. The likes of Cornell Glenn, Seminlen Doungel and Durga Boro went extremely close on multiple occasions. However, some good defending from Luciano Sabrosa and Zohmingliana Ralte along with the some excellent reflexes from keeper Amrinder Singh kept Lajong at bay.
The resolute defending helped Pune FC maintain their narrow 1-0 lead going into the breather. The second half began with both sides battling out hard in the midfield. Half chances fell for both Pune FC and Lajong but some poor finishing meant the scoreline stayed unchanged.
Ten minutes into the second half, Pune FC suffered a blow when defender Ralte had to be taken off after suffering an injury. He was replaced by youngster Salam Ranjan Singh to partner Luciano in the defense. Minutes later, Pune FC went close once again. After soaking pressure, Pune FC regained possession and moved ahead on a quick counter attack. Playmaker Ryuji Sueoka did well to find Ishfaq clear on the left who controlled and sent in a cross which went straight to the keeper.
At the other end, Pune FC had a close shave surviving back-to-back attempts. First, in the 59th minute, Khelemba Meitei connected Nim Tamang’s cross in from the right. However, his effort from close range went inches wide of the framework. Two minutes later, it was Seminlen who went agonisingly close but his shot on Cornell Glenn's cross into the box came off the crossbar keeping Pune FC's narrow lead intact.
As Pune FC held off constant attacks from the Lajong frontline, they had a great chance of doubling their lead in the 83rd minute. A quick breakaway move saw Sueoka run down the midfield and find Arata Izumi on the right who controlled and sent in a perfectly timed ball for Ishfaq clear on the left. The midfielder managed to get a good touch but went just wide of the woodwork as he tried to chip the keeper. Meanwhile, Lajong had a couple more chances in the final five minutes, but the Pune FC defense managed to hold on for a hard earned win.
PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC will be looking to build on their impressive form when they take on Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League Round-21 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday. The penultimate game of the season will be a crucial one for both sides for similar reasons. While fifth-placed Pune FC (26 pts) will aim to make a move up the table, eighth-placed Shillong Lajong (20 pts) look to steer clear from the relegation zone with just two points separating them and the bottom three sides.
This will also be the third time both sides face off in the 2014-15 season after clashes in the Federation Cup (December) and the I-League (January). With Pune FC emerging victorious on both occasions, they will be keen to maintain the one hundred per cent record. Furthermore, a win over their north-east rivals on the morrow will also help Pune FC to their first double in the I-League this season, something they will be eager to achieve.
Meanwhile, Pune FC will be confident going into the clash after their morale-boosting 2-1 win over East Bengal in the previous round. However, the game against relegation threatened Lajong won’t be an easy one and Asst. Coach Gift Raikhan wants his side to be cautious. Speaking ahead of the game, Coach Raikhan said, “It will be an interesting game. Lajong is a strong side and playing at home is an advantage for them. But we cannot take anything for granted and have to work hard. The win against East Bengal gives us a lot of confidence but we need to stay calm and approach the game in a positive manner." MSC : Rudrajit, Subhankar, Sourav, Chintu, Kamal, Subhasish, Sanu, Sanju Hazra, Ashish, Debjit, Muslim Molla
Post their victory over East Bengal on Sunday, Pune FC stayed back in Kolkata for couple of days before travelling to Shillong where they had a couple more sessions. While the same 18-member team has travelled to Shillong, midfielder Edgar Marcelino will be a doubt having been stretchered off in the previous game. Nonetheless, he has been working hard to get back into action, but a decision will only be made on the matchday.
On the other hand, Lajong come into the game on the back of mixed results in last three games at home. A 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC was followed by a 3-1 win over Bharat FC before they went down 1-2 to Sporting Goa in the previous game. Nonetheless, Lajong will bank on home advantage as they will be playing their sixth consecutive game at the Nehru Stadium. The north-east side will be heavily dependent on top-scorer and Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen (13 goals) along with Brazilian attacker Uilliams Souza (7 goals). The duo has contributed 20 out of 29 goals this season and will prove a challenge for the Pune FC backline led by Luciano Sabrosa and Zohmingliana Ralte.
The last time both sides faced off, Pune FC recorded a massive 5-2 win, their biggest of the season so far. Back then, a Thongkhosiem Haokip hattrick and goals from Ryuji Sueoka and Darko Nikac saw Pune FC strike five times in the first half itself. The same strike force will now hope to repeat the performance against the defense which has conceded the most number of goals in the league.
Over the years, both sides have faced off thirteen times and share three wins each. Moreover, in four games in Shillong both sides have logged a win each while drawing two. Thus a win on the morrow is important and will give Pune FC an upper hand in the overall record.
The match kicks off at 4.30 PM on Sunday.
24.05.2015 : SHILLONG LAJONG ---- 0-1---- PUNE FC ( FT.)