I-LEAGUE 14th ROUND PREVIEW: ONGC to face Pailan Arrows at Home tomorrow

04.01.2013.2012 : .KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

Both ONGC and Pailan Arrows will be looking to consolidate their position in mid-table when they clash in their 14th round I-League match at the Ambedkar stadium on Saturday, January 5. The match kicks off at 2 PM. Pailan Arrows are in 7th spot but have lost their last three matches. Their last win was 4-1 against ONGC in their home match at Kolkata on Dec 1. For ONGC it is a chance to avenge their defeat in the bitingly cold conditions in Delhi.

Though in the 7th spot, Pailan Arrows are on 14 points, just three points ahead of ONGC which is in the 11th position in the I-League table with 11 points from 13 matches. So there is a tight struggle amongst teams in the mid-table of the I-league. Pailan Arrows, the only team in the I-League without any foreign players, started their campaign with two successive wins and two draws.

Coached by the Australian Arthur Papas, this team contains the cream of India's talented junior and plays entertaining, possession football. It will be a chance for local fans to watch the skills and speed of highly rated striker Holicharan Nazary, talented attacking midfielder Allwyn George who has already played for the senior national team in the 2012 Nehru Cup, midfielders Milan Singh and Tirthanker Sarkar and defender Deepak Devrani.

ONGC's coach Santosh Kashyap is hopeful that thrustful winger C. Kenistan has recovered from his ankle injury and will be fit to play. It is to be seen how their skilful players Yusa Katsumi and the Liberian Eric P. Brown combine against the well-organised Pailan Arrows defence. ONGC rely heavily on these two players to both create and score goals. The match will be entertaining and a fascinating battle of contrasting styles of play.

ONGC playing in the 3-5-2 formation rely on quick counter attacks whereas Pailan Arrows play possession football, with a series of short passes to develop attacks. Palian Arrows arrived in the capital yesterday and had done their practice session this morning at the venue. ONGC, who is camping in Delhi since their last match played against United Sikkim, too had their warm-up session in the morning. The managers meeting was held this evening in the presence of match commissioner Mr. Binod and other officials.

CHURCHILL BROTHERS TROUNCED 6-0 SHILLONG LAJONG FC AT HOME MATCH OF 14th ROUND

04.01.2013.2012 : SLFC PRESS...KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

04.01.2013: CHURCHILL BROTHERS   6 - 0   SHILLONG LAJONG (GOA - FT)

CB : Sandip, Denzil, Bilal, Ravanan, Raju, Lenny, Sanjay, Dias, Balan, Beto, Henry.

SLFC: Basant, Mincholson, Lalchhuanmawia, Subhas, Jibon, Renedy, Boithang, Eugeneso, Chitrasen, Friday, Sushil.

CB : Steven Dias 40', Henry Antchouet 42', Ajay Singh 53', Akram 66' , 73' , Reberto 90'+1'

Churchill Brothers produced a scintillating display of football to drub injury-hit Shillong Lajong FC, 6-0 at the Duler Football Stadium Mapusa, Goa on Friday.

In the first half it was the home side who dominated the proceedings and took the lead with two quickfire goals from Steven Dias and H.Antchouet in the 40th and 42nd minute respectively.

Both the sides made changes with Churchill Brothers bringing in Bineesh Balan for striker Ajay Singh, who picked up a hamstring, in the 18th minute, while Lajong brought in Jacob for Nigerian striker Friday in the 30th minute, who also picked up a knock, to add to the ever-growing injury list of the Reds.

After the lemon break the home side tightened the screws on the visitors, pumping in as many as four goals to complete the rout. It would seem that the Shillong side sorely missed the presence of the injured players, as the Goan side took advantage of the opportunities.

Ajay Singh,who had previously missed a few sitters in front of goal, finally converted when he latched on to a Beto pass to drill the ball past a hapless Basant Singh. Akram Moghrabi then came on as a substitute for the home team in the 63rd minute and immediately made his presence felt when he scored off a header within three minutes of play(66th).

The talismanic Lebanese, who scored the only goal in Shillong against the Reds in round 7 of the League, then added another in quick succession to double his tally in the 73rd minute of the game. Roberto Da Silva, who had a good outing, then rounded off the formalities by notching up his well-deserved goal in injury time, to hand the North-Easterners with a 6-0 defeat.

Goodbye 2012: Custodian Abhra wipes away past, looks ahead

02.01.2013.2012 : PFC PRESS...KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE

Pune FC custodian Abhra Mondal passed a huge psychological test of his playing career against Shillong Lajong FC during Round-13 of the I-League. Having gone through the ordeal of nursing a cracked right shin that put him out of action, Abhra completed a sensational return at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Polo ground) eleven months later.

Victory for Pune FC was a first-ever feat, but for Abhra it was also about walking off with the Man-Of-The-Match honour which was quite in contrast to the last time he played in Shillong. It was, back on 28th January, 2012 Abhra unfortunately clashed with Eugeneson Lyngdoh and was stretchered off.

Since then much has changed. The Kolkata-born has recovered. Is back to playing ways and in fact, began his second stint against Sporting Clube Goa (27th November, 2012; Round-8 in Goa). However, it was Shillong that still remained vivid and a point to prove to himself.

"Before the match, all the while, including our trip to Shillong, the thought kept coming to my mind," Abhra explained after the game."I always had doubt in my mind and it was kind of building within. However, by figuring in the playing eleven in earlier rounds I had confidence."

Abhra added, "It was a question of going out on the pitch and ending the negative thought,"On arrival in Shillong, thoughts about the incident flashed in my mind. But once I held a couple of balls during practice I felt better The rest completes my story."

Fact is, Abhra did run into Eugeneson in Shillong. "He (Eugeneson) asked me how I was. Said sorry once again to which I explained that it is part of the game it could have happened to anyone back then it was my bad day out."

On receiving the Man-of-the-Match, Abhra explained, "Out there I was trying to get as much confidence to myself. It was important for me. But once the game got going I realized all will be well."With Pune FC securing victory, Abhra admits, "The match was tough for both. It's not easy for visiting sides to win in Shillong.

The home team plays tough, the crowd turnout is strong add the cold weather and one realizes that the the ones regularly play in these conditions can cope. Visiting teams are not used to all these factors. While all round success remained the high-point of Pune FC's trip to Shillong, Abhra on his part felt, "My past memory has been wiped out and a look to progress to a new chapter in my life. Thank God."