SPORTING CLUB de GOA
RAIA Sports Complex, Goa
Kick off: 3PM IST
The second semi-final of the 127th Durand Cup will be an all I-League affair as Pune FC take on the inform Sporting club de Goa at the Raia Sports Complex today in Goa. Both the teams have managed to top their respective groups and will be raring to go to book a place in the final. Let’s look at both the teams and weigh their chances to accomplish the mission of entering into the grand final on eighth.
Performance Index, Team News and Tactical Brief:
Sporting Club de Goa will be the third goan team which locks its horns against the red Lizards from Maharashtra. The side from Pune, which won both its group matches against Vasco and Churchill Brothers, will be looking to make a hat trick.
Coach Karim Bencharifa is expected to start with Amrinder Singh under the bars, as the former TFA product comes back after serving a match ban following his suspension. Former Salgaocar Captain Luciano Sabrosa will be leading the defence along with Salam Ranjan Singh. Raju Yumnam will be missed by the Moroccan coach as he serves a suspension for consecutive yellows. Mathew Gonsalves is expected to start for the Red Brigade.
Middle of the park will be once again marshaled by charismatic Japanese Ryuji with Prakash Thorat and Mumtaz Akhtar making the runs. Forward Binesh Balan, who scored the winner in the semi final against Vasco, could also get the nod ahead of Eric Brown. Anthony D’Souza will return to the squad but it is yet to be seen whether Karim Bencharifa uses the young Goan in the midfield or not.
Probable Starting Line-Up: Amrinder Singh (GK), Luciano Sabrosa, Salam Ranjan Singh, Mathew Gonsalves, Ramu , Prakash Thorat, Mumtaz Akhtar, Anthony D’souza, Dhanpal Ganesh, Bineesh Balan, Ryuji.
Sporting Club de Goa:
The Flaming Orange has been the hottest team in the tournament so far, with former Pune FC striker Boima Karpeh leading the way, along with Anthony Wolfe. Both the strikers have been in top form and have mustered up five out of the seven Sporting goals so far.
Custodian Ravi Kumar is expected to guard the goal with Mohanraj and Chinta Rao in the full back zone. After a noteworthy performance in the last match, local lad Creson Antao couls start ahead of the favourite Keenan Almieda in the centre of defence.
Rowlin Borges could be seen making a return to the starting eleven with Velito Cruz waiting to make an impact from the bench. It will be very interesting to see if Coach Oscar Bruzon uses both the youngsters to tank up the speed. Cajetan Fernandes and Joseph Clemente will be expected to tread the wings.
Probable Starting Line-Up: Ravi Kumar (GK), MohanRaj, Keenan, Celemente, Chinta Rao, Rowlin Borges, Velito, Cajetan Fernandes, Mackroy, Boima Karpeh, Anthony Wolfe.
Players to Watch Out for
Ryuji Sueoka (Pune FC)
The former East Bengal attacking midfielder will be the one to watch out for a young Sporting defence as they look to advance to the final stage. Ryuji has been in top form and the coach Karim Bencharifa has used Liberian Eric Brown very smartly off the bench to save the Japanese for his best input. Ryuji can dribble from both the feet and could turn out to be the difference when both the sides meet today.
Boima Karpeh ( Sporting Club de Goa)
The Liberian- Australian big centre forward is by far the tallest attacking player to ply his trade in India. After a topsy turvy stint at Pune FC, the sturdy lad is all set to take on his former employers. Boima is already among leading scorers in the tournament and will be looking to add more goals to his impressive tally.
Pune FC 1-2 Sporting Club de Goa
Pune FC have been solid in the group stages, but the attacking prowess of the two huge strikers in front for the Flaming Oranje could be too much to handle for the Pune defence.