I-League: Pune FC look to return to winning ways

Vasco (Goa), March 22: Pune FC will look to bounce back to winning ways when they face defending champions Churchill Brothers in a crucial I-League Round-22 game at the Tilak Maidan here Sunday.

Currently sitting third in the table, the game for Pune FC (30 points) will be a must win for various reasons.

For starters, Pune FC will be keen to close the gap at the top of the table before they face leaders Bengaluru FC (37 pts) in the next round Friday.

Moreover, just one win since the turn of the year, has seen Pune FC drop down to third place in the standings. On the other hand, a good run of results has seen Salgaocar FC catch up and leapfrog Pune FC into second place having played a game more.

Thus a win coupled with others results will not only help Pune FC in reclaiming a top-2 spot in the table but will also break their winless run and boost the confidence of the team going into the final six rounds of the league.

Having played all three previous matches at the Duler Stadium, Pune FC’s fourth and final game in Goa this season will also be the second time ever that they play at the Tilak Maidan. In fact, Pune FC’s only previous match at this venue was a 1-2 loss to Churchill in the same fixture last season.

Despite having a poor run in the league this season and sitting 13th in the table with 15 points, Churchill has been one of the in-form teams since the turn of the year winning eight out of twelve matches in all competitions including the Federation Cup triumph in January.

With influential Egyptian medio Abdelhamid Shabana set to miss out, the overseas trio of Australian defender Daniel Zeleny, Costa Rican striker Cristian Lagos and Trinidad and Tobago World Cupper Anthony Wolfe will form the core of the team.