Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco
8th November 2014,
Pune FC and Salgaocar FC, both are unexpected finalists in this year’s Durand Cup Finals. Salgaocar FC who faced the mighty Bengaluru FC in the first semi final, won on penalties against all odds, meanwhile Pune FC routed Goan heavyweights Sporting Club de Goa 2-1, in a stunning victory. As is the case with finals, both sides would be looking to take the trophy of the world’s third oldest tournament, home. However, there would be an added pressure on Pune FC to end their barren run of silverware in cup tournaments, as the Red Lizards have entered their first final ever.
Performance Index, Team News and Tactical Brief:
After making a hatrick of dismantling Goan opposition which included the likes of Sporting Club de Goa, Vasco and Churchill Brother, Pune FC would be looking to sink their fourth and final opposition of the tournament.
Arminder Singh is expected to start as the guardian between the sticks, as the 21 year has not only impressed with his performances, but has been solid so far, only one unexpected rough patch coming in the form of a suspension. The 21 year old has regularly featured for India U-23 and would be looking to dish out a stellar performance against the goan opposition.
Former Salgaocar captain Luciano Sabrosa, is expected to lineup against his former team, while playing alongside Salam Ranjan Singh, as the center back pairing. Ramu and Mathews, are expected to ply their trade as wingbacks and provide support to Pune FC’s attacking framework.
The middle of the park would be marshaled by Anthony and Dhanpal, whereas the wings would be Prakash and Mumtaz made. Both Prakash and Mumtaz, are known for their long attacking runs and have proved to be a threat to every goan side thus far.
Bineesh Balan, who scored the goal against Vasco is expected to lead the Pune attacking line and would be support or perhaps provided ammos by Pune FC’s captain Arata Izumi. Izumi, although has missed his touch of magic so far, is still one of the most influential members of the squad.
Probable Starting Line-Up (4-4-1-1): Amrinder Singh (GK), Luciano Sabrosa, Salam Ranjan Singh, Mathew Gonsalves, Ramu , Prakash Thorat, Mumtaz Akhtar, Anthony D’souza, Dhanpal Ganesh, Bineesh Balan, Arata Izumi.
After defeating the high flying and perhaps the favortiees to win the tournament, Bengaluru FC, Salgaocar has took up the mantle of the top dogs in the finals. Although, victory against Bengaluru came in penalties, Salgaocar matched the I-League champions in each and every department, even outshining them in some moments.
Karanjit is expected to start in goal for the Goan side, who came on the back of a very decent Goa Premier League season. Kasonde and Gurjinder are expected to start as the two solid center backs, while Fernandes and Taiba would make up the wingbacks.
Playing usually with a pivot, Lamare and Saran Singh, are expected to play in the double pivot, and provide defensive covering alongwith long through balls for the attack to thrive upon.
The attacking trio of Gilbert, Pierre and Jairu, are expected to start behind striker Aslon Oliviera. Douhou Pierre has been a revelation for the goans, and has been sensational so far. The 26 year old set the ball rolling for Salgaocar in their 4-1 win against Indian Navy, scoring the first goal.
Although, Salgaocar FC boast a strong attack based largely around Douhou Pierre, the greens would be looking to outscore their opponents and then rely on defensive solidity provided by Kasonde and Gurjinder.
Probable Starting Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Karanjit Singh, Othallo Tabia, Gurjinder Kumar, Francis Kasonde, Augustin Fernandes, Rocus Lamare, Douhou Pierre, Bikash Jairu, Gilbert Oliveira, Thangjam Saran Singh, Aslon Oliveira
Players To Watch Out For:
Douhou Pierre (Salgaocar FC):
The 26-year-old, who joined Salgaocar from Pune FC at the start of the season, has been in fine form in the Durand Cup. Pierre has already scored three goals in the tournament, including a super strike against Laxmi Prasad in Salgaocar’s previous outing. In addition, the Ivorian has also provided an assist, thus making him Salgaocar’s most vital player.
Arata Izumi (Pune FC):
Although the 32 year old has not showcased his magical approach, we all know that he is capable of, Izumi is still one of the game changers in the Pune FC squad. The attacking midfielder would look to exploit defenders out of place and then launch an inch perfect through ball.
Pune FC 0 – Salgaocar 2
Although it might be a romantic fairy tale come true for Pune FC, their side still does not have the final killer instinct on which Salgaocar is based. The match is expected to be Salgaocar dominated, with the first goal coming in even before the first thirty minutes.