Pune:Pune FC would look to capitalise on the home advantage when they take on Vietnamese champions Hanoi T&T FC in a historic AFC Champions League play-off round one match here today.This match to be played at Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi here will be the first time ever that India will host any AFC Champions League match. Pune will also be making their first ever appearance on the continental stage.
The winner will travel to Thailand to face domestic runners-up Muangthong United in the second round of the play-offs on February 8.Pune are midway through the season and they are third in the I-League standings.Pune coach Mike Snoei asked his players to grab the chance to shine at the continental stage.
“It’s an historic moment for the club. In seven years since establishing, Pune FC has come very far making progress on and off the field. Now it is the responsibility of the players to give their all on the biggest stage,” he said.”Game won’t be easy. Hanoi are a very good team. We need to be cautious and senior players need to step up. We have beaten big teams like Bengaluru FC, Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan here and we will to take positives from it.
“You can’t always be at your best, but now we have to be ready for this big occasion. I have told my players that the game can go beyond 90 minutes, may be even penalties. We need to score goals as this is just a one leg tie. Hanoi have played four games in the recently started season and currently sit third in the league table with two wins and a loss.