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ROUND - 14

03.01.2013:: United SC to face Defending Champions Dempo SC in 2nd leg at Kalyani tomorrow.

After losing in the 10th round of first leg away match against defending Champions Dempo SC, the kolkata side United SC is going to face Dempo in the 2nd leg of 14th Round match at kalyani stadium tommorrow. In the first leg Dempo beat United 3-1. Ranti Martins of United scored first goal in the match but finaly Dempo scored three goals to earn full points. United played that match with Bello Rasaq and Carlos Harnandez.

They beat East Bengal in 11th round with same squad 1-0 but the next two matches 12th and 13th Carlos and Bellow uas not in the United squad where United lost 1-3 to Pune and 1-3 to Sporting Goa.

Now United SC's new Dutch coach Eelco Schatorie hints the availability of the full squad of United tomorrw against the goan Giant. Bellow rasaq who was suspended two matches may return and injured Carlos may retun after recovery from his injury.

United SC got 6th place upto first leg with 14 points while Defending Champions Dempo still remains in the top of the league table with 26 points ( Deducting MMB match). Both team has lost Mohun Bagan points as they won against them but as per AIFF rules on 29th DEC..

On the other hand Dempo who won the first leg 3-1 will miss their two scorers Seuoka and Carvalho alongwith Antao for Injury and also Miss Rohan Ricketts for his show cause and new replacement by Johhy Menyongar (Ex- SLFC). So Dempo will depend upon only one foreigner Koko Sakibu or Jonney tomorrow.

: United SC played 4 home matches so far against Dempo in I-League but was unable to win any match where they lost 2 and drew 2 matches. upto last match in first leg both teams met 9 times where United SC won only 1 match (Away) and lost 5 matches, rest 3 matches ended draw.

: Ranti Martins who is now playing in United Jersey from 2012-13 I-League once played 7 season in Dempo Jersey where he scored 7 goals for Dempo in 8 matches against united SC in I league and 3 goals in Federation Cup a total of 10 goals so far.

: United SC scored 8 goals so far against Dempo SC in I-league where Joshimar Da Silvas scored 3 goals who is going to play in Salgaocar Jersey while Dempo scored 20 goals so far against United. where 12 goals scored by Foreign players and rest 8 goals scored by Indians..

:In Federation Cup 2007, Current East Bengal striker Chidi Edeh then played for Dempo Sc and scored a hattrick against United SC 3-0 win...And Dempo highest margin win against United was played in Fed Cup 2008 where they beat them 5-0...


ROUND - 15

08.01.2013 : Pune FC out to strengthen position on top --- agaist United SC in away tomorrow

Pune FC has their eye set on maintaining their position on the league table. But for that a fired up Prayag United Sports Club is the task on hand in Round-15 of the I-League. While the relatively new venue at Kalyani (Kolkata) will be all about facing huge home team support, PUSC themselves go into the game after a moral boosting win over Dempo SC.

In fact, between both teams the Kolkata side played twice at the venue and ended with contrasting results something Pune FC will hope to exploit on Wednesday. Pune FC on their part is on a 9 match unbeaten run and will be hoping to round off their north-east and Kolkata mission without any hiccup.

Coach Derrick Pereira says, "Yes we've had a good run going into this match and we will try our best once again.They (PUSC) are definitely a good side on paper despite the run they have had. The last that they played, they dominated and won the match late."

PUSC over the past 2 games have overhauled their line-up to get back on track. The 1-3 loss to Sporting Clube Goa led to Coach Eelco Schattorie making changes aplenty. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul made way for Kalyani-lad Sangram Mukherjee. In defence, Nigerian Bello Rasaq returned from his 2-game suspension, while Costa Rican playmaker Carlos Hernandez was back for the Dempo SC game.

Furthermore, the home side added options on the bench in Japanese-New Zealander Kayne Vincent, who was out for long spell out with injury. MP Sakeer also returned from suspension and so did ex-Pune FC attacking midfielder Lester Fernandez. With options aplenty, PUSC have a virtually full-strength squad at their disposal. Pune FC's main job on the morrow will be keeping I-League top-scorer for the past 2 seasons Ranti Martins in check. Ranti currently leads the current season with 15 goals.

"Defensively we need to be compact. We will need to play well like we have done so far," adds the Pune FC Coach. The Pune FC defenders can in fact take heart from their performance which kept him at bay in the home-leg (Round 12) in December 2012. The striker has scored half his teams goals and along with Vineeth (3), Carlos (3), Bello (2), Oraon, Lalkamal, Rafique, Asif, Manswama and Kayne has managed to help his team score in in every I-League game this season.

Pune FC Coach adds, "We have to take them on with respect. On paper they are good, though their run has not been the best." While PUSC look to close in the gap in the table (they were 2nd after Round 6) before slipping with six losses in 8 games, Pune FC is well aware of their opponents capabilities. Pune FC will miss the services of striker striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, who got himself injured in the game against Shillong Lajong FC and against United Sikkim FC could not continue when he came on as a substitute.

Coach says, "Jeje (Lalpekhlua) is out for this game due to injury which needs time and rest. He will be back for the next game." In fact, defender Zohminliana Ralte along with Jeje are the changes in the 18, with Caitano Costa and experienced Shanmugam Venkatesh drafted in the 18 for the game tomorrow.

Jeje's setback apart Pune FC are no short of confidence having done well in the past. The game will be the third this season between both with Pune FC winning one and drawing once, while overall it is the 14th all-time meeting. For Pune FC Coach the message is simple to his squad, "Results come, only if you perform well. We've played match by match and improved in each and every match." Interestingly, the venue has a Pune FC high logged in the past. Last season, the Pune FC Under-19 squad lifted the Under-20 I-League title.


07.01.2013 : Two years ago in a round fourteen match ONGC halted East Bengal's unbeaten streak with a 1-0 win at their home ground, in Kolhapur. Stung by that defeat, East Bengal faltered and Salgaocar went on to win the I-League. It is to be seen if history can repeat itself in the 6th league with ONGC taking on mighty East Bengal in their home match at the Ambedkar stadium at 2p.m. on Tuesday.

ONGC has lost just once in their eight home matches in Delhi and that was two months ago to Air India. They have beaten Dempo 3-1, Shillong Lajong 3-0, Pailan Arrows 3-1 and held fancied Prayag United 1-1. However their next opponents Federation Cup champions East Bengal is one of the best teams in the country.

They have lost both their two previous matches to the Kolkata based club. ONGC lost 1-2 in the 34th Federation Cup group league match in Siliguri and were trounced 0-5 in their 7th round I-League match on Nov. 24. East Bengal is on 27 points from 13 matches and 3rd in the league table whereas ONGC with 13 points from the same number of matches is in 8th position.

It will be an uphill task for ONGC as they will also be without their ace Liberian forward Eric P. Brown, who was shown a red card in the previous match. East Bengal has the best defence in the I-league and has conceded just five goals in 13 matches. Their solidly built Nigerian defender Uga Okpara is combining well with Arnab Mondal and with their powerful tackles and good interceptions are difficult to penetrate. Both are also commanding in the air.

ONGC's main threat will be from the elusive and skilful Japanese attacking midfielder Yusa Katsumi. Coach Santosh Kashyap says his team will rely on quick counter attacks and their aim is to prevent conceding an early goal and frustrate East Bengal.

As usual ONGC will opt for a 3-5-2 system, with three man markers, newcomer S. Wahid, Nigerian Hassan Mohammed Adeola and skipper Sandeep Sangha. This trio will need all their expertise to foil the rampaging Chidi Edeh, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 rout of Salgaocar and with 10 goals is the second highest scorer in the I-League. East Bengal's coach Trevor Morgan has many options in attack to support Chidi Edeh. He can choose from promising Manandeep Singh, burly Robin Singh or Baljit Sahni.

It is in midfield that East Bengal enjoy overwhelming superiority due to the penetrative runs of Penn Orji and the able blocking and passing of Mehtab Hussain. On the flanks Morgan can choose from Ishfaq Ahmed, Sanju Pradhan, Harmanjot Khabra or Lalrindika Ralte.

Overall East Bengal are fancied to win due to their superior fire power. But ONGC has adapted well to the slightly bumpy Ambedkar stadium playing surface and bitterly cold weather conditions. If their young players do not get overawed by East Bengal's reputation it could be a cracker of a match.

East Bengal arrived from Goa on Sunday evening and had light practice at Ambedkar stadium the next day. ONGC also practiced at the same venue on Monday morning but coach Kashyap is still undecided on the replacement for the suspended Brown. He admits the loss of Brown in such an important match is a big blow.


ROUND - 16

11.01.2013: United SC who won their last two matches against Dempo and Pune FC to face the 16th round away match against Sporting Goa at Duler Stadium, Mapusa tomorrow. In th first leg United SC lost 1-3 to Sporting Goa at home match. Kalu Ogba wcored twice and Joseph Pereira scored another and Ranti Martins reduced the margin for United SC in 13th Round.
United SC is unable to win any match against Sporting Goa so far in I-League out of all 7 encounters.
The classic goals of Carlos against Dempo and Lalkamal against Pune FC has given United SC coach Eclo Schattorie a lot of confidence. Currently United SC have 20 points from their 14 matches where their Negerian Goal machine scored 16 goals with two hattricks and top scorer upto 15th Round. In the 1st leg match against Sporting Goa, two essential footballers of United Carlos and Bellow was not in the squad.

Sporting Goa which made a goalless draw in the last match against Shillong Lajong will play under the guidance of their new Spanish Coach Bruzon who wnats to earn full points from their home. Their defender Keita will retuned the team after one match ban. Sporting Goa are placed tenth with 13 points from 13 matches so far upto 15th Round..


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. WATCH BOTH MATCH LIVE UPDATES tomroow from 2 pn and 7 pm.


ROUND - 18

24.01.2013: ROUND-18: Pune FC set for better show run, take on East Bengal sat home

PFC RELEASE : Pune FC seeks a fresh start to their campaign in order to move up the I-League table when they host East Bengal in a Round-18 encounter. It's a tough order for Pune FC, but by swinging a positive result it will mean increasing points and closing in on the leaders. Pune FC (30 points) is currently fourth and East Bengal (33 points) is second.

So far, the second-leg for Pune FC's has been a mixed bag and a run they seek to change. Beginning with a flourish - a win over United Sikkim FC, the next two games against Prayag United SC and Sporting Clube Goa spiked progress. An away loss and a drawn home game and scoring goals taking a back seat have translated in the Coach Derrick Pereira terming the game on the morrow as a "do or die."

"We are at a crucial stage in the league wherein every point is of vital importance. Slip-ups and losing focus cannot be afforded at this stage. The players have the capability to match any team. I am hoping that they step up tomorrow (Friday) when they play against compatible opponents who in turn force ones best," Coach added

Pune FC goes into the game with an unbeaten record at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex against their Kolkata rivals and will want to keep the run intact. In three games, Pune FC forced a result in one and was held goalless in the other two. More so, the last time East Bengal were in the city, they ended losing 1-2 to Mumbai FC something Pune FC will hope to repeat.

"They are a good team a top team. We need to be prepared for a team in the running for the title. It will be a good match," Pune FC Coach informed after a late evening session at Balewadi. Likewise, East Bengal will be out to get over the major blow Churchill Brothers handed them in Kalyani, Kolkata apart from consolidating their position. It is with this though that Pune FC Coach points out, "It will be important for my players to give their best to earn a result."

Pune FC has effected three changes to the 18 who figured in the last game. While striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is back from injury, experienced midfielder Shanmugam Venkatesh replaces Sukhwinder Singh and defender Nallappan Mohanraj comes in place of Khanthang Paite. Paite, in fact, sits out as per the agreement Pune FC and East Bengal signed which restricts him from being fielded against the Kolkata side. Earlier, in the first-leg at Kolkata the same clause was honoured.

"Jeje has recovered, is fit though with slight niggles," Pune FC Coach explained. Jeje replaces Velington Rocha.Having made changes in the 18, the Pune FC Coach hinted about changes in the playing eleven as well. "It not decided yet," the Coach replied.

East Bengal, meanwhile, will look at striker Chidi Edeh to deliver. In fact, the first-leg was decided by his Chidi's strike, which the Pune FC defence hope not to repeat. The Nigerian (11 goals) has netted in seven of the 10 wins his team has logged apart from once in three drawn encounters. Meanwhile, experienced defender Uga Okpara serves a one-match suspension after picking up his 4th yellow card in the last game.

The Pune FC coach summed up, "It is very important for us (Pune FC) to consolidate our position and move into a better position." Pune FC have in their midst Douhou Pierre, Venkatesh and Jeje who have scored against East Bengal in the past and also expect James Moga (7 goals) to get back to his scoring ways.

Overall, this will be the 10th meeting of the two teams with East Bengal leading the head-to-head with 5 wins, 2 losses and 2 drawn games. In the I-League it will be the seventh match-up with Pune FC having won 2, lost 3 and drawn 2.


ROUND - 19

01.02.2013 : Pune FC seek revival of fortunes against Salgaocar FC.

Pune FC seeks a change in their home script when they take on Salgaocar FC in a Round-19 I-League game on Saturday. Having earned just one point from two games in 2013, the worrying issues are not just points, but scoring goals.

Coach Derrick Pereira, after a pre-match session, explained, "We have to improve and concentrate on our finishing. Chances have been created by the many, but conversion has fallen short."

On the opponents, he adds, "We need to get a good result at home and there is no two ways about it." To make matters challenging, the Goans come to the city on the back of a loss - similar to the two early seasons and will be determined to push themselves away from the wrong end of the table.

Currently Salgaocar FC is 12th, eight places adrift the hosts.

Pune FC, carry the advantage of winning the first-leg (0-2) in Goa and hope to continue their stranglehold. Adding up in Pune FC's favour is the fact that Salgaocar FC is the lowest scorers in the league per game (only Bagan, who've played 4 games fewer, have scored lesser goals). Pune FC Coach says, "Salgaocar is a good teram. We cannot take them lightly going by the (league) standings. We need to stay focused and get on with our job on hand."

Interestingly, their top-scorer this season is centre-back Augustin Fernandes (3) and attacker Milagres Gonsalves. The game should thus depend on who can break free from the shackles of scoring."The boys are hungry to win and want to get back and want to forget the way we played in the second-half of the match against East Bengal," explains Pune FC Coach.

The visitors, since the last meeting has completely revamped their foreign attacking trio. Nigerian striker Gabriel Obatola, Brazilian striker Josimar Martins, and Singaporean playmaker John Wilkinson having replaced Sean Rooney, Angel Guirado and Quinton Jacobs respectively.

In fact, Obatola and Josimar have also already managed to get on the score-sheet once apiece in the 2 matches they've featured in along with Wilkinson, and thus the Pune FC defence have a fresh challenge to deal with.

"They are good attacking players," observed Pune FC Coach. Joshimar is experienced and has played in India for several years. The others are new and look good. I've seen them play on artificial turf, but in Pune it's a natural pitch and need to see how they do."

The rest of the squad is familiar. Captain Luciano Sabrosa is set to lead the defence after being out for a while with injury. Regular left-back Fulgancion Cardozo is back from suspension, to help out the established Augustin Fernandes and right-wing-back Nicolau Colaco.

Add India internationals Karanjit Singh's presence in goal and Francis on the flanks, along with long-serving regulars in playmaker Rocus Lamare and winger Gilbert Oliveira the squad is competitive. Salgaocar will however be without defender Ranul Kumar who received a red-card in the last game.

Pune FC is expected to make changes to find the right combination. To begin with, midfielder Khanthang Paite returns to the squad and so do Nikhil Kadam and Vellington Rocha. "Paite remains a first choice. In the last match he served a loan agreement clause and had to sit out," explains Coach. He added, "The youngsters (Nikhil and Vellington) need encouragement and a chance to prove themselves."

Both teams will be meeting for the third time this season and shared a win each. In fact, it was Paite's brace that earned Pune FC's win at Fatorda. Overall Pune FC holds the advantage of winning five games against the Goans in 8 meetings of top flight meetings. Two losses and a draw remain the only spots on what otherwise has been a dominant run.

With a better head to head to boast, Pune FC hopes to bounce back and to regain momentum in their chase of the Top-3 teams."We've got to work hard and not give up," says Pune FC Coach Interestingly, it was the win against Salgaocar in Goa that led to 5-match winning streak. A similar result and fate from now on will be something Pune FC will have their eye on.