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U-20s Serve Double Treat: We Are The Champions!
Champions Pune FC returned home after defending their Under-20 I-League title, a feat that adds up to another first by any Indian club.
Back on 18th May 2012, Pune FC handed the city its first National-level title. Then, after 311 days, the squad did an encore by stamping their superiority and adding 26th March, 2013 in the club’s history annals.
The accomplishment translates into Pune FC being the first club to win back-to-back titles at the Under-20 National level.
With memories aplenty of winning the title ahead of all clubs and academies, Pune FC with two titles earned the distinction of remaining top among all teams in India while beating every club they played.
Leaving memories of their historic run in Jamshedpur, Pune FC journey back meant a travelling by train to Kolkata, then board a flight via New Delhi to Pune and complete an 18-odd hour travel.
Finishing with seven wins (includes 3 in the group stage and 4 in the final stage), 1 loss and 1 draw, the Pune FC squad did the Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy (PPFCA) proud for the second time.
Pune FC Head of Youth Development, Ranjan Chowdhury, said, “The title was always on our mind from the outset. We needed to prove that our first title was no flash in the pan. What pulled us through in this tough competition was the heart that the players played with.
“They (players) wanted to leave back a legacy of being crowned champions twice during their tenure at the PPFCA. They achieved their goal and one ought to be really very proud of the stubbornness they showed to achieve.”
Pune FC all through the tournament scored 25 goals (includes 1 own goal) with a total of seven players contributing to the cause.
Mizoram-born striker William Lalnunfela with seven goals for the second time topped the scorers chart. His individual tally over 2-years swelled to 14. Interestingly, William had to sit out of Round-5 (Final Phase) against East Bengal.
William also had to his credit scoring the only hat-trick among Pune FC’s total tally. His was the second-ever after striker Thongkhosiem Haokip.
Scoring at an average of 2.77 goals per game, Pune FC were defiant and stubborn enough not to concede many and let in just 5 in nine games! This incidentally was 1 less than last year.
Having completed this fantastic feat, the first since the club was established in 2007, Pune FC had other highs logged; highest ever result, highest match aggregate apart from being declared Best Disciplined Team.
Loaded with a host of firsts, the 20-member squad along with four officials returned with a trophy gives the Pune FC management ample pride in saying: “PPFCA is in the right direction.”
Avilash Paul (GK), Sarif Molla (GK); Henry Monsang, Riyan Yadgiri, Salam Ranjan Singh, Denechandra Meetei, Narendra Vakhare, Anuj Negi; G. Karthik, Abung Meetei, F Lalrempuia, Nikhil Kadam (Capt.), Janak Kudmal, L.H. Lalrinawma (Rinte), R. Shivram, Rugved Yeole, Subasish Bose, Thongkhosiem Haokip, Deepak Kumar, William Lalnunfela
PFC Head of Youth: Ranjan Chowdhury, Coach Under-19: Gift Raikhan, Physio: Lino Sequeira, Manager – Media / Coordinator: Micky Aigner.
POINT STANDINGS FINAL PHASE – UNDER-20 I-LEAGUE 2012-13
|Mohun Bagan AC||5||1||1||3||6||8||-2||4|
THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAMPS
——— GROUP PHASE (At Jamshedpur) ———
Pune FC 2-0 Prayag United Sports Club
William Lalnunfela (60th), Lalrempuia (90+3’)
Pune FC 1-2 Salgaocar FC
William Lalnunfela (68th)
Pune FC 3-0 Sporting Clube Goa
Nikhil Kadam (7th), Subasish Bose (27th), G. Karthik (80th)
Pune FC 9-0 United Sikkim FC
William Laununfela (45+1st, 57th, 69th), Subasish Bose (10th, 28th), F. Lalrempuia (19th, 25th), Thongkhosiem Haokip (31st), Nikhil Kadam (54th)
GROUP PHASE STANDINGS
|Prayag United SC||4||1||2||1||4||5||-1||5|
|Sporting Club Goa||4||-||2||2||2||7||-5||2|
|United Sikkim FC||4||-||1||3||2||14||-12||1|
——— FINAL PHASE (At Jamshedpur) ———
Pune FC 2-1 Sesa Football Academy
Subasish Bose (5’), Thingkhosim Haokip (30’)
Pune FC 3-2 Salgaocar FC
William Laununfela (20’ & 55’), Nikhil Kadam (60’)
Pune FC 2-0 Mohun Bagan AC
Own Goal (20’), Nikhil Kadam (32’)
Pune FC 0-0 Tata Football Academy
Pune FC 3-0 East Bengal
Henry Monsang (38’ & 53’), F.Lalrempuia (89’)
SCORERS – 7
GOALS SCORED – 25
GOALS CONCEDED – 5
7 – William Lalnunfela
4 - Subasish Bose
4 – Nikhil Kadam
4 – F. Lalrempuia
2 - Thongkhosiem Haokip
2 - Henry Monsang
1 - G Karthik
Note: 1 ‘Own Goal’