Pune FC up against Mohun Bagan in Federation Cup second round

Vasco (Goa), Dec 31 (IANS) Pune FC will take on Mohun Bagan in a second round Group B encounter in the 2014-15 Federation Cup at the Tilak Maidan here Thursday.

The clash on New-Year’s day will be a crucial one for both sides for similar reasons.
While third-placed Mohun Bagan (one point) will look to earn more points and make a move up the table, a win for second-placed Pune FC (three points) will take them two points clear at the top of the group.
The clash will also be the second time Pune FC face Mohun Bagan this season after logging a thrilling 7-6 sudden death win in the King’s Cup in Bhutan a month ago and will be hoping for a similar result this time.
Furthermore, having logged nine competitive wins so far since the start of the season, Pune FC will be keen to seal a 10th in their 12th competitive match since October 2014.
Going into the game after an impressive come from behind 3-1 win over Shillong Lajong in the opener, coach Karim Bencherifa wants his team to build on the good work on the morrow.
“I am very happy with the character the team showed in the first match. It’s never easy to come back after conceding an early goal but we finished the game on a high and we would want to build on that,” said coach Bencherifa after a training session at the Nagoa Football Ground Wednesday.
Pune FC will be confident ahead of the game with the key players Arata Izumi, Dhanpal Ganesh, Ryuji Sueoka and Luciano Sabrosa once again leading on the field.
Moreover, with three different players getting on the scoresheet against Lajong Monday, Pune FC will hope to convert more chances on the morrow.
On the team news front, coach Bencherifa will have all 20-players available for selection on matchday. With no player carrying any major injury, it gives an added boost to the entire team ahead of the game.
Mohun Bagan, who have undergone a lot of changes in the past month since their last game against Pune FC, come into the game after a playing out a goalless draw against Bengaluru FC.
While coach Sanjoy Sen has taken over the charge at the helm replacing Subhash Bhowmick, Mohun Bagan have also been boosted by the return of key Indian players in the team.
The likes of ex-Pune FC player Jeje Lalpekhlua, Anwar Ali, Balwant Singh and Pritam Kotal join the squad after the Indian Super League (ISL) giving Mohun Bagan more options.