Champions Pune FC returned home with the Under-20 I-League Trophy, the city’s first-ever National-level football title.
Leaving behind memories of a successful unbeaten campaign back in Kalyani, West Bengal, Pune FC’s journey back meant a drive to Kolkata, then board a flight to Mumbai and then back on road to Pune.
Finishing with nine wins (includes 4 in the group stage and 5 in the final stage), the Pune FC squad did the Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy (PPFCA) proud in its inaugural year.
Ranjan Chowdhury, Pune FC Head of Youth Development, said, “It always was a mission when PPFCA was established… The title is something that I owe it all to the boys who were not determined but had the zeal in them to be on top and not just dream.”
All through the tournament, beginning from the group stage, Pune FC believed winning it all and in the process managed to post victories over nine of the thirteen I-League teams that were in action.
“Teamwork paid off and the yearn to play in the starting eleven was evident all through,” added Chowdhury.
With a staggering 29 goals (includes 1 own goal) a total of nine Pune FC players contributed to the cause.
Mizoram-born striker William Lalnunfela with seven goals topped the scorers charts, followed by Thongkhosiem Haokip who had to his credit scoring the only hat-trick among Pune FC’s total tally.
Scoring at an average of 3.22 goals per game, Pune FC were defiant and stubborn enough not to concede many and let in just 6 in nine games!
Having completed this fantastic feat, the first since the club was established in 2007, the 18-member squad along with three officials returned with a trophy that surely made many look up to the PPFCA as an academy hr/of the future.
Amrinder Singh (GK), Bhushan Patil (GK), S Ranjan Singh, Naorem James Singh, Kamardeep Singh, Gobin Singh, Surjith Singh, Sujie Kumar (Capt.), N Karthik, F Lalrempuia, Abung Meetie, Nikhil Kadam, William Lalnunfela, Haokip, Deepak Kumar, Anuj Negi, R Shivram, Janak Kudmal
PFC Head of Youth: Ranjan Chowdhury, Coach Under-19: Gift Raikhan, Physio: Lino Sequeira, Manager: Amit Dharap.
POINT STANDINGS FINAL STAGE – UNDER-20 I-LEAGUE 2011-12
|Shillong Lajong FC||5||2||1||2||6||8||7||-2|
|Prayag Utd. SC||5||-||2||3||4||9||2||-5|
——— GROUP PHASE (At Mumbai) ———
Pune FC 5-1 HAL SC
Thongkhosiem Haokip (26th, 38th, 45+1), F. Lalrempuia (59th), Abung Meetie (71st)
Pune FC 2-0 Chirag Kerala
F. Lalrempuia (64th), William Lalnunfela (72nd)
Pune FC 4-1 Air India
Thongkhosiem Haokip (53rd), Deepak Kumar (62nd), Abung Meetie (67th), William Lalnunfela (80th).
Pune FC 3-2 Mumbai FC
Abung Meetie (65th), David Lalbiakzara (74th), William Lalnunfela (88th)
——— FINAL PHASE (At Kalyani) ———
Pune FC 3-0 Churchill Brothers
Gobin Singh (10th), Thongkhosiem Haokip (37th), Nikhil Kadam (42nd)
Pune FC 3-1 Dempo SC
Sujie Kumar (21st), William Lalnunfela (40th), David Lalbiakzara (83rd)
Pune FC 4-0 Mumbai FC
Nikhil Kadam (37th, 39th), David Lalbiakzara (69th), Deepak Kumar (90+4th)
Pune FC 2-0 Shillong Lajong FC
Sujie Kumar (21st), William Lalnenfula (41st)
Pune FC 3-1 Prayag United SC
William Lalnunfela (56th, 69th minute); Own Goal (76th)
SCORERS – 9
GOALS SCORED – 28
GOALS CONCEDED – 6
7 - William Lalnunfela
5 - Thongkhosiem Haokip
3 - Nikhil Kadam
3 - David Lalbiakzara
3 - Abung Meetie
2 - Sujie Kumar
2 - Deepak Kumar
2 - F. Lalrempuia
1 - Gobin Singh
Note: 1 ‘Own Goal’