THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Pune FC face AIFF Regional Academy test

Pune FC U-19

Pune FC U-19

Two time defending champions Pune FC will be looking to continue their winning run when they face AIFF Regional Academy, Navi Mumbai in a crucial Round 4 encounter of the U-19 I-League 2014 at the Fr. Agnel Ground in Vashi on Thursday.

Unbeaten in three games, AIFF Academy currently tops the table with nine points having played three games. On the other hand, Pune FC are second on six points having played a game less than their opponents.

With only one team qualifying for the final phase in Jamshedpur, a victory for either side in this top-of-the-table clash will put them in pole position for qualification ahead of the chasing pack.

Formed around two years ago, the AIFF Navi Mumbai Academy is currently competing for the first time in U-19 I-League. Having beaten all other teams in the group in their three matches, they have scored 11 goals while conceding only twice so far.

Under Coach Sajid Yusuf Dar, the hosts have been in great form recently and have impressed one and all with results against big teams in Mumbai.

On the other hand, Naushad Moosa-led Pune FC too come into the game in great form. Undefeated campaigns in the PDFA Super Division League and Ashok Vanjari Memorial Cup, along with wins in the opening two rounds of the U19 I-League have given the team confidence ahead of the big clash.

On the team news front, Pune FC will be missing services of key striker Syed Shoaib Ahmed for a second game in a row after he was injured in the opener against Kenkre FC.

However, attacker Yumnam Arnold Singh will be available for selection after recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered during the clash against Mumbai FC in Pune.

With both teams being the only full time residential academies in the state, a battle for supremacy will be on the cards.