17th April, Fatorda, Goa – On the back of only their 2nd victory in the Hero I-League, Dempo SC look to build on the performance versus Mumbai FC with the visit of Pune FC to the land of Sun, sand and surf. It has been a season of transition for the Goan outfit who haven’t had results go their way much this season. Couple that with the change in management and one can see why the Goan giants haven’t had the best of seasons.
Their opponents tomorrow too haven’t had the best run of form with just one win in their last five games. Considering their whirlwind start to this year’s campaign, the Red Lizards will be concerned with the current form of the team. When quizzed about his take on the recent run of results, Pune FC head coach Karim Bencherifa said “It’s no secret that we started the league very well, however of late our form has gone down. That is down to us losing a fair number of players to injury and that has put the brakes on, unintentionally.” The Pune Head coach also believes that the recent loss to East Bengal has had an adverse effect on the team stating “While I have a lot of experienced players who do know how to deal with these kinds of losses, I also have several under 23 players and even under 19 players who have had their confidence shaken and that has been a bit difficult”. The Morrocan went on to state that while confidence has been an issue, the teams preparations have been very good. The squad have discussed where they feel they have been letting themselves down and that they are quietly confident of righting those wrongs in the match tomorrow.
Dempo SC Assistant coach Mauricio Afonso was in a positive mood ahead of their match with the Red Lizards, and said “ This has been a difficult season but the attitude of the players has been great. They’ve always maintained a positive frame of mind and our victory in the last match has shown that.” Afonso, when quizzed about Dempo’s lack of goals continued, “It has been a problem for us this season, and the injuries have not helped at all. We’ve been forced to play without a striker for long periods of time and it has reflected in our lack of goals.” The Goan outfit hasn’t had the greatest of times in the recent past but victory over Mumbai FC away has given them renewed faith of a strong finish to this years campaign.
Whatever the case, both teams look up for the game tomorrow and will be going out for all three points. For us the fans, that means we can look forward to some end to end football with lots of goal scoring opportunities.