With contrasting results in the last matches in the AFC Cup the I-League sides Pune Football Club and Churchill Brothers will face Tampines Rovers FC and Home United of Singapore respectively. After demolition of the Home United in their last AFC Cup match Churchill Brothers will look to double on their rivals, which Pune will look to get all three points in the match against Tampines Rovers FC at home.
Here’s a preview of both the matches.
Tampines Rovers FC
Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune FC
1st April 2014
The Pune Football Club will be facing S-League Champions Tampines Rovers FC in the return leg of the AFC cup Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune. Pune FC has been inconsistent in the AFC Cup. The red Lizards have not won a single match in the group. They are in 4th place in the Group H with 2 points. Pune in their previous encounter has been defeated by Tampines Rovers FC comfortably and they will look to change their fortune this time at home.
Mike Snoie coached side failed to keep the momentum going against Tampines Rovers after an impressive display against Kitchee. They were outplayed by S-League side, this will be their must win match to keep any hope alive to make it to the knock out of the AFC cup.
The midfield of the club also looks out of ideas in continental competition. The midfield has to come good for the Kingfisher East Bengal and the team has players in the rank to do the job. Douhou Peirre as usual have been a key figure at the heart of the midfield. The midfielder has performed throughout the season and Gabriel Fernandes has been other instrumental figure in the team this season. The Goan has shown a lot of heart playing for the club. His speedy runs have troubled the defenders. The likes of Arata Azumi, Mumtaz Aktar will also have a crucial role to play in the match. The only worry in midfield has been an inconsistent form.
The Australian Striker Mirzan Pavlovic and Dutch striker Mustapha Riga will have to do talking in front of the goal. The former has been brilliant since come in the side and have lifted the energy of the team. Riga with the inclusion of the Pavlovic can now play with his favourite number 10 position. He has been more effective behind the striker.
The club in their last match against Tampines Rovers lost at ease. The Rovers Star performer was Milzan Mrdakovic. The Striker posed lots of difficulties to the rival defence. The Serbian was given good support by his fellow strike partner Closa Gonzalvez. The stags are in rampaging form in local league and would look to continue their winning streak against Pune FC.
TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For
Mustapha Riga, Gabriel Fernandes (Pune FC)
Milzan Mrdakovic, Closa Gonzalvez ( Tampinese Rovers)
Pune FC 1-1 Tampines Rovers FC
Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
2nd April 2014
The Churchill Brothers Sports Club might be struggling in the I-League, but their form in AFC Cup has been amazing. The Red machines cored thumping 3-1 victory over the Home Unied at Fatorda Stadium, Margao.
The club will now travel to Singapore where they will face Home United FC in the return leg of the AFC cup. The Churchill Brothers will miss their talismanic midfieder Shabana. The playmaker will not feature in the next match for the club because of his suspension. The club would also miss the services of Trinidad international Anthony Wolfe, who has picked up an injury.
Mariano Dias will be happy to see Balwant Singh consistency. The Indian International striker was impressive and showed leadership ability upfront for the club. Beenish Balan and Jaison Vales are yet to fire for the club, but these players have quality in them. The duo will be eager to perform for the club and will threat lot of problems for the Home United’s defense.
In the absence of the Egyptian playmaker Shabana the midfield of the Churchill Brothers looks weak. The Egyptian Junior international used to be the supply line for the strikers. Young lads such Ashly Fernandes and Jaison vales need to perform consistently for the club. The experience of Lenny Rodrigues will play a big role in the match. He will be making a comeback after missing last AFC cup match and help the team get all 3 points.
Home United FC has been weakest team so far in the group. The Singapore club has not been able to perform. The club is at the bottom of the table and has conceded a lot of goals. The team midfield has not been able to create anything so far and this has been a major problem for the club. The players need to get their act tougher and play good football to get a point if not full 3 points. South Korea international Lee Kwan Woo will be the key player for the club.
TheHardTackle’s Men To Watch Out For
Lee Kwan Woo, Jumaat Jantan (Home United)
Lenny Rodrigues, Balwant Singh (Churchill Brothers)
Home United 0-2 Churchill Brothers.