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ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC to face East Bengal and hope to end their season on a winning note


ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC to face East Bengal and hope to end their season on a winning noteApril 9, 2024New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) With no chance of making it to the playoffs, Punjab FC (PFC) face East Bengal in their final match of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Wednesday and will hope to end the season on a winning note. The match, which will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, will be played behind closed doors due to unforeseen circumstances. Punjab FC will hope to finish as high as possible in their debut season in the ISL, while East Bengal will hope to keep their playoff chances alive with a win.Punjab FC went down to a solitary goal in their last match against Mohun Bagan Super Giant while East Bengal who will also play their final match of the season, beat Bengaluru FC 2-1 on Sunday at Kolkata. In the reverse fixture played in Kolkata, both teams played out a goalless draw in December.Speaking ahead of the game, PFC head coach Staikos Vergetis said, “I believe that we do not deserve to be in the position that we are currently in. We had a better season than that and we want to finish as high as possible with a win tomorrow. East Bengal is a very good side with quality players and we are well prepared to give our best against them. We hope to put in a very good performance and get all three points to end the season on a high.”The attacking triumvirate of Madih Talal, Luka Majcen and Wilmar Jordan Gil have turned the fortunes of the club since the league restarted after the AFC Asian Cup. Talal in particular has been in terrific form throughout the season scoring five goals and assisting in another eight, which is the highest in the league. He has also created 51 chances, which is the highest in the league by some distance. The striking pair of Luka Majcen and Wilmar Jordan have scored seven and six goals each.The midfield has been successful in being the bridge between the defence and attack line with Ricky Shabong, Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Nikhil Prabhu putting in standout performances in both defence and attack. Dimitrios Chatziisaias and Suresh Meitei have formed a formidable defensive combination in the centre fizzing out opponent attacks.PFC midfielder Manglenthlang Kipgen, during the pre-match press conference, said, “We are prepared to execute the coach’s plans against a quality East Bengal side. We will try to play good football and secure all three points tomorrow.”Speaking about his debut season in the ISL, the 18-year-old said, “It was a great experience for me to debut in the ISL. I believe that I have improved under the guidance of the coaching staff and will continue to perform better for the team going forward.”Punjab FC are currently 11th on the table with 21 points from 21 matches while East Bengal FC are sixth with 24 points from 21 matches.–IANSbsk/https://ians.in/detail/isl-2023-24-punjab-fc-to-face-east-bengal-and-hope-to-end-their-season-on-a-winning-note–20240409173440/

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