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Sporting brace for tough fight against Pune FC

October 16, 2009 19:18 IST

Shrugging off disappointment of the loss to Shillong Lajong in their last outing, hosts Sporting Clube de Goa would be looking to log their first points in I-League when they take on newcomers Pune FC in a third round match in Margao on Saturday.

Sporting's opening match against Air India was washed away due to heavy downpour.

"It's disappointing to start the campaign on a losing note, especially against a side we could have easily collected full points. Strikers let us down as they failed to convert umpteen chances that came their way," Sporting President Peter Vaz said on the eve of the match.

"The build-up in the middle and attack from the flanks remained slow as our opponents had plenty of time to regroup and defend themselves after they lost possession of the ball. Now that we have learnt from our mistakes, we have to settle down quickly," Vaz said.

"I have watched our opponents on TV and they are a good side, enterprising in the attack and it is going to be a tough match for us. We have to play to our potential to win," he added.

Goalkeeper Felix D'Souza and defender Samananda Singh have recovered from their injuries and will play on Saturday to provide more solidity in the defence.

However, medio Wilton Gomes, Chandrashekhar Chinta and Adil Khan are still nursing their wounds.

Pune FC, on the other hand, will miss their Brazilian striker Edmar Figueira as he is out with an injury.

However, the return of midfielder Shanmugam Venkatesh will bolster their attack which lacked zeal in their previous match against Air India.

Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira said he was expecting a tough contest as both sides were equally good.

"Sporting have the same side that is playing for several years. Ours is a new side with youth and experience. Hopefully we will stick to the plan and come out victors," he said.

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