Pune FC to meet Lajong FC in high-voltage encounter
Shillong: Pune FC and Shillong Lajong FC face each other in a potentially high-voltage I-League encounter here on Sunday, with both the teams riding high after comfortably beating their opponents in their respective opening matches away from home.
Pune FC drubbed Durand Cup champions Mohammedan Sporting 3-1 in Kolkata while Shillong Lajong FC stunned Dempo FC 3-0 at Goa.
The home fans are all the more excited to welcome the Reds home after their first away victory in Goa last week and nothing could be better than a good match with Pune FC at the JN Sports Complex here.
Pune FC, on the other hand, are wary about the weather, the crowd and the artificial turf.
Pune FC coach Mike Snoei admitted to several disappointments he had ahead of the match and said that it would be a tough match for his side.
"It is a different game here. The crowd and home support that the home team has is great. We are dealing with the weather and the turf and that is why we chose longer days for preparation," Snoei said.
The visiting side landed here a week back with an aim to acclimatize themselves with the Shillong weather and with the artificial turf.
Back home they play on natural grass and the team had a month`s training in the artificial turfs in Goa ahead of the season.
Added to their wariness is the suspension of Raul Ivan Fabiani, the Spain-born Equatorial Guinean import who scored two goals against Mohammedan Sporting in their last match.
Snoei also criticised the I-League fixture as the team has to play three away matches before they play at home.
As for the Reds, they have nothing to worry except the pressure from the home fans.
Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto said his team was "fit and ready to take the winning momentum forward".