Pune FC eye reversal of fortunes against Bengaluru FC
Pune: Pune FC would look to reverse their fortunes when they host Bengaluru FC in a crucial I-League 2013-14 Round 9 match at the Shivaji Chhatrapati Sports Complex, at Balewadi on Wednesday.
Pune FC would be looking to get over the set back of the away encounter in familiar surrounds.
Both teams clash for the first time making tomorrow`s encounter a high-voltage face off.
With only one point separating the two teams in the top-four (Bengaluru FC ? 2nd, 14 pts; Pune FC (4th, 13 pts), tomorrow`s encounter will be crucial for both the teams.
While Salgaocar FC stay atop with 16 points, a positive result with a combination of other results would see either Bengaluru FC or Pune FC assure at least a second spot while also having a chance to top the table going into the international break.
After losing the tag of being the only unbeaten team in the league, Pune FC would look for perfect home record - three wins out of three and no goals conceded ? as inspiration.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC`s good start has been aided by their four wins picked up in their first five games of the league, all at home. However, the visitors are still finding their feet on the travels having earned only a point in their two away games so far.
Bengaluru FC might draw solace from the fact that they had time to settle in Pune having arrived for two back-to-back games and being stationed in the city for almost a week.
However, their last game against Mumbai FC in Balewadi saw them concede in the last minute of the match and eventually drop two valuable points.
The visitors` good form has been primarily aided by the goal-scoring exploits of two of their foreigners, Australian striker Sean Rooney and English defender John Johnson. Rooney has netted six times in five separate games, while Johnson has managed
score the opening goal from corners in three matches.
Apart from them, captain Sunil Chhetri, who too features in Bengaluru FC`s ranks, has netted twice. With fellow Indian striker Robin Singh an option off the bench, the visitors do boast of significant goal-scoring prowess.
Bengaluru FC`s midfield is powered by the experienced ex-Liberian international John Menyongar, supported by the likes of Siam Hanghal, Darren Caldeira, Thoi Singh and winger B Beikhokhei.
However, with first choice goalkeeper Pawan Kumar and Kenyan defender Curtis Osano in doubt ahead of the clash, young custodian Bruno Colaco and ex-Pune FC defender N S Manju could get a look in tomorrow`s match.