Armando Colaco will be hoping to continue his quest for the I-League title as Dempo SC look to extend their 4 match unbeaten run against a threatening Pune FC team.
It had been feared that Koko Sakibo might have to sit out until January after he was injured in the beginning of the season. However, after scoring the winning goal in the last Goa League match, the Nigerian is all set to feature in the line up’s for the remaining matches.
While Armando Colaco may be tempted to stick with the same team which has been in the top form this season, it remains to be seen if young Romeo Fernandes and 20 yr old defender Shallum Pires can manage to impress him for the playing eleven. Romeo, who rose from the Dempo Juniors, was substituted by Joaquim Abranches in the last match against Prayag United which saw the youngster being uncomfortable with the physical game of the Kolkata side.
“Romeo is young, I am happy that he is learning and improving with each passing game” said Armando Colaco. Having maintained almost the same squad for the previous four matches, there are unlikely to be many changes in the field. Ryuji Seuoka and Rohan Ricketts will spearhead the attack, while Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda and Joaquim Abranches will marshal the midfield. Mahesh Gawli and Rowilson Rodrigues are expected to play spoilers for the Pune FC strikers.
On the other hand, Derrick Pereira will be hoping to ride his luck at the PJN stadium which has been a successful hunting ground for the former Mahindra Coach. As per the statistics, Derrick has won 9 matches, drawn two and lost three at the Margao ground where he once lifted the federation cup in style for Salgaocar during his playing days. James Moga has been a threat for all the opponent teams, ably supported by the talented trio of Karma Tsewang, Subhash Singh & the Japanese Daisuke Nishiguchi. It is not clear whether mercurial striker Jeje Lalpekhlua has fully recovered from his injury as he was seen panting in the last match against Salgaocar. However the coach will be hoping for Jeje’s early recovery to sharpen his attack.
While focus and complacency of his players are the main issues cornering Derrick, he would be hoping his players don’t commit the same mistakes like their previous matches. Pune FC has given away early lead in as many as 4 matches this season and was lucky to win on two occasions. They have garnered 17 points and are comfortably perched on 4th position.
With 8 wins, one draw, and one lost match, Dempo SC is leading the I-League table with 25 points.
Dempo Coach Armando Colaco is yet to lose a home match this season. They have won all 5 of their home matches.
Derrick Pereira has an impressive record at PJN stadium. He has won 9 matches with Pune FC at Goa.
Armando Colaco owns an Enfield Bullet Thunderbird which he rides every day for practice and also for matches. He is a great admirer of the legendary motorcycle and considers it to be his lucky mascot.