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Pune FC hope past record holds good against Dempo

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Mapusa (Goa), Nov 26 (IANS) Pune FC will hope to take a leaf out of their past dominance over Dempo SC when they face the Goan heavyweights in an I-League Round-11 encounter at the Duler Stadium here Wednesday.


Having won six of the 10 encounters in the league and Federation Cup over the years respectively, Pune FC will be out to exploit the indifferent run the hosts have had so far. For Pune FC, the primary objective will be to put on an improved show to secure their first win in the coastal state this season.

In Goa, Pune FC have so far played twice and ended up with contrasting results (loss to Sporting Club and draw with Salgaocar FC) and a positive result on the morrow would help them move to the top of the table. 

Coach Mike Snoei said: "It’s a good opportunity to take the lead again, which in itself is good motivation for my boys to start with a mission on mind. I must add that we respect the opponents and I believe we can do a good job."

Hosts Dempo SC (10 pts, 9 games) are currently eighth in the table, while Pune FC (17 pts, 9 games) are third, just a point behind leaders Salgaocar FC and Bengaluru FC.

Both teams go into the game with results not going on expected lines. While Pune FC came from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Salgaocar, the hosts were subjected to a 1-2 home defeat by United SC.

After many years of success under their ex-coach Armando Colaco, Dempo SC are in a phase of transition under new coach Arthur Papas and have completely revamped their squad. 

While a few players like goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, defender Debabrata Roy along with mid-fielders Peter Carvalho and Clifford Miranda continue to be an integral part of the new set-up, most of the remaining positions have seen an entirely different set of players step in.

Dempo’s foreign quartet of former player and Brazilian playmaker Beto, along with new players in Aussie defender Simon Colosimo, Japanese defender Shinnosuke Honda and Irish target-man Billy Mehmet haven’t yet been able to adapt to the new style.

With the Goan side’s struggle evident, and having secured just two wins so far, Papas has been relying on his former Arrows’ players instead of the experienced lot. Narayan Das, Pronay Halder, Holicharan Narzary and Alwyn George have all been regulars in the hosts’ lineup.

Dempo also features three former Pune FC players in their ranks. Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua – a regular alternative to Mehmet up front or out wide – comes up against his former team for the first time after spending six seasons at Pune FC since the start of his professional career in 2007.

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