U-20 I-League: Pune ready for Salgaocar challenge

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2013 13:50 hrs

Jamshedpur, March 6 (IANS) Defending champions Pune FC will be looking for their second consecutive win when they take on Salgaocar in their Group A match of the Under-20 I-League football encounter at the JRD Stadium here Thursday.

While the Goans will be playing their first match, Pune FC are on a high after 2-0 win over Prayag United.

Pune lead the group with three points followed by Sporting Clube Goa, United Sikkim, who have one points each while Prayag United are yet to

With the demanding schedule of the league allowing only a day's rest between matches, Pune FC utilised Wednesday on a recovery programme at the Tata Football Academy ground.

Pune's head of youth development, Ranjan Chowdhury, said: "The players went through a recovery session (90 minutes) apart from working on improving their strategy in attacking play."

Terming the opening game against Prayag a "physically tough game," owing to the high intensity, Chowdhury was confident on his boys' toughness to brace up the situation and readiness to take on the next challenge.

In fact, after the Prayag game a couple of Pune FC players were left with niggles which included defenders Ranjan Singh, Denechandra Meetei, midfielder Nikhil Kadam but were all up and running during the practice session.

Having completed their opener in the afternoon, the game against Salgaocar FC on the morrow also turns out to be another early afternoon kick off and a test of coping.

"The first 20 minutes are crucial," adds Chowdhury and admits the Goans style of play is "unknown."

For the record, the Goans, last year, ended their challenge in the group stage.

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