Pune, Jan 7 (IANS) Two-time defending champions Pune FC will begin their campaign against Mumbai Tigers FC in their Under-19 I-League opener here Jan 14.
Pune FC goes into the tournament looking for a hat-trick of titles after emerging top in the last two editions in Kalyani (2012) and Jamshedpur (2013).
Clubbed in the five-team Maharashtra-zone, Pune FC will be up against Mumbai FC, Kenkre FC, PIFA Colaba FC and AIFF Navi Mumbai Academy apart from Mumbai Tigers.
Post expansion, the Under-19 I-League will be played in a new format and will have 29 teams contest for top honours in a two-tier run to the title. The five zones include Kolkata, Mumbai, Shillong, Goa and Rest of India.
The four city-named zones will engage themselves in a home-away format with the winner advancing to the final leg to be held in Jamshedpur. The Rest of India zone will play a single-leg in Jamshedpur with the top two advancing.
The final-leg, which will include six teams, is scheduled in mid-April and will be played on a single-leg.
In winning the last two editions of the competition, Pune FC has set the record of most number of wins. In 2013, they logged seven wins while in 2012 they romped to the title with an all win record (winning a total of nine matches).