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I-League Preview : Pune FC set for North-East challenge

28.09..2013 : KFC. | HOME PAGE


PFC MEDIA RELEASE : Pune FC is geared up to challenge Shillong Lajong FC in an encounter both would not prefer to blink after delightful openings in the I-League 2012-13. Success for Pune FC, thus, rests on taking forward the confidence into the Round 2 game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Shillong on Sunday.

In more ways than one the game expects to be high-voltage. Passionate fans, victory over fancied Dempo SC and playing first time at home is perfect setting for the hosts. Pune FC, on their part, has checked in early with acclimatization as an obvious reason and will be hoping for an encore when they beat SLFC last season to break their north-east jinx. Pune FC (3 points) is currently in second place on the I-League table owing to goal difference. In fact, the host's enjoy leader advantage sporting (+3) compared to Pune FC (+2). Both sides, since last season, have made changes to their respective sides.

Upfront SLFC sports a new look. Trinidad and Tobago international and World Cupper Cornel Glenn, who scored a brace against Dempo, leads the line, supported by hard-working Brazilian Uilliams Souza, while former Pune FC striker Subash Singh completes the line-up. Other new players for SLFC are ex-Salgaocar GK Vinay Singh in goal, ex-ONGC Defender Robin Gurung (who partners experienced Wailadmi Passah at the back), and also ex-Pailan Arrows midfielder Milan Singh.

The home side has also retained some of the core players from last season. North-Korean defender- midfielder Minchol Son has been promoted to captain, while Japanese attacking midfielder Taisuke Matsugane also brings experience. Pune FC themselves have worked on their squad with the emphasis on youth apart from carefully choosing their foreign player quota.

Coach Mike Snoei, in fact, was pleased with the collective effort after Round-1, but expects more from his players. "We are happy with the win. But it's just the start of the season and we have a long way to go," said the Coach. Ahead of the game Pune FC has one worry - the unavailability of striker Raul Fabiani. The Equatorial Guinea striker serves a one-match suspension. Fabiani played a major role in the game against Md Sporting scoring twice and assisting once.

Raul's suspension will expect Pune FC to employ changes and in all certainty possible change in roles of a few players. Medio Dhanpal Ganesh and winger Anthony D'Souza, meanwhile, began training, recovering from their respective injuries giving the Pune FC Coach options aplenty for his plans.

As a cover up Pune FC have drafted in left-back Y. Denechandra Meitei, who along with the rest provide options aplenty. Experienced seasoned-campaigners like Arata Izumi, Venkatesh Shanmugam and Douhou Pierre added to talented youngsters in Amrinder Singh, S. Ranjan Singh, Dena, Ganesh, Nikhil Kadam and Thongkhosiem Haokip add enough firepower to the team.

For the record, Pune FC secured their first-ever win over Lajong in the same fixture last season. However, they trail in overall head-to-head with one win compared to Lajong's three in all competitions. Drawn encounters have been the trend in the majority of clashes, but with new team and form Pune FC seek improving their script. The encounter will interestingly hand Pune FC defender Zohmingliana Ralte and SLFC striker Subash Singh a chance to face-off against their former clubs respectively.

For Pune FC a win on the morrow will extend their unbeaten run to seven matches. The run so far (read six wins) is their longest winning run in I-League. The run includes carrying forward the 5 matches won consecutively at the end of last season 2012-13.

I-League Preview : Rangdajied United Take On Bengaluru FC In I-League Round 2

28.09..2013 : KFC. | HOME PAGE


RUFC MEDIA RELEASE : After going down fighting by a couple of goals to United SC in Kolkata, Rangdajied United travel to Bengaluru to take on newly-born Bengaluru FC, in search of its first I-League points on Sunday. Newly-promoted Rangdajied United had given the more-fancied United side a run for its money in their first ever I-League outing, before eventually bowing down to a couple of brilliant finishes from Ranty Martins and Eric Brown in the opening round of league games.

With the Shillong-based side looking to register their first ever I-League points, the Bengaluru FC side will be anything but an easy proposition for Rangdajied. After almost beating Mohun Bagan in its own I-League debut, Bengaluru FC will be in upbeat mood ahead of its encounter with Santosh Kashyap's men, and will be in search of the full three points.

Rangdajied custodian Surjay Paryar had an impressive game against United SC on Sunday, making a handful of saves to keep the Ranty Martins-led attack at bay. This Sunday, Pariyar will have to produce more of the same if Kashyap's men are to take any points home from the Garden City.

At the back, Poibiang Pohshna, Munmun Timothy Lugun, Prateek Chowdhary and Lamine Tamba had started for the blues against United SC, and look set to start against Bengaluru too. Against an attack consisting of the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and former Lajong man Johnny Menyongar, the latter a shrewd attacking midfielder, these four will have a very important job this Sunday. Their performances could have a vital say in the final scoreline.

At the centre of the park, Santosh Kashyap had opted for Restom Khriam and Abocha Singh in Kolkata, with Bansharai Sun among the substitutes after the coach had decided to go with two strikers. With Bengaluru set to unleash Menyongar and co. against Rangdajied, it wouldn't be surprising to see Kashyap sacrifice one of his strikers and opt for Bansharai instead, in order to provide the Bengaluru medios with as little breathing space as possible.

On the other hand, captain Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Japanese import Yohei Iwasaki are set to start on the flanks. Lyngdoh was impressive against United SC, and will be one of the focal points of the Rangdajied attack at the venue, where the team lifted the 2nd division trophy earlier this year..

With English defender John Johnson marshaling the men of steel's backline, it will be interesting to see if coach Santosh Kashyap's starts both Edmar Figueira and Sandesh Gadkari up front, like in the United SC game, or just go ahead with one of them. Both these strikers, who were signed by the club during the summer, didn't have the best of games against United SC, and would be looking to set things right against the JSW-owned side.

With both Rangdajied United and Bengaluru FC playing in their second ever top flight game, it will be the clash of the newbies this Sunday at the Bangalore Football Stadium. The Bengaluru side had received tremendous support for its game against Mohun Bagan, and will surely have good attendances this Sunday against the North Eastern outfit. Rangdajied United, themselves not quite stranger to playing in front of thousands of fans, will, however, hope to surprise a few and register their first three points in an I-League game.

The match kicks-off at 04:00 PM and will be broadcast LIVE on Ten Action.

The Squad: Surajy Paryar, Poibang Poshna, Lamine Tamba, Pratik Chowdhury, Elam Abocha Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Mun Mun Lugun, Yohei Iwasaki, Sandesh Gadkari, Edmar Figueira, Restomwell Khriam, Ambilstar Sun, T Lalnun Puia, Thomas Saikhom, Joy Mrong Kharraswai, Bhansharai Sun, Laldingngheta, Shambu Mistry

I-League 2013-14: Mumbai FC look for their first win against Dempo SC

28.09.2013 : KFC. | HOME PAGE


MFC RELEASE : Mumbai FC will be looking for their first win of the campaign when they host Goan-side Dempo SC in an I-League 2013-14 Round 2 encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday. The hosts go into the game with a positive mind-set after their 1-1 draw against another Goan side Sporting Clube de Goa in their opening round game.

On the other hand, the opponents Dempo SC come into the game after a 3-0 home loss against Shillong Lajong and will be hoping to kickstart their campaign under new Coach Arthur Papus. For Mumbai FC, medio Climax Lawrence and defender Valeriano Rebello will be up against their former team for the first time since joining Mumbai FC.

Climax along with fellow midfielders Nicholas Rodrigues and Ashutosh Mehta will be pulling strings from the midfield for the hosts for Jayesh Rane and Orok Essien playing upfront. The backline will be led by the central defensive duo of Haroon Amiri and Anwar Ali. Both of them have now started to gel and Coach Khalid Jamil expects them to forge a strong partnership.

"My attack wasn't up to the mark in the previous game, but the defense under the leadership of Amiri and Anwar was excellent. Tomorrow is a big match and we can only get better and improve from here", said Jamil.

Dempo SC have made numerous changes to their squad over the summer. The foreign quartet of defenders Simon Colosimo and Shinnosuke Honda, striker Billy Mehmet - who are new arrivals - and playmaker Roberto Mendes da Silva "Beto" who re-joins the club will form the nucleus of the team.

Dempo have also added India internationals, striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and medio Jewel Raja Shaikh to their squad while former Mumbai FC forward Gabriel Fernandes will be up against his old team for the first time.

Mumbai FC has never won a game against Dempo SC in twelve encounters so far in all competitions and Coach Jamil is hopeful things will change on Sunday. In the previous I-League season (2012-13), both encounters among the two teams ended in draws. The match kicks off at 4.00 pm on Sunday.