When India takes on Syria in their opening clash of the Nehru Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium this evening, Jeje Lalpekhlua will be very much present in the national capital albeit with his club side to feature in the Durand Cup.
The Mizoram striker was left out of the 20-member squad for the Nehru Cup by coach Wim Koevermans on Sunday. While the rumuor mill suggested that that the 21 year old was injured, Pune FC have named the striker in their squad for the third oldest tournament in the world when their campaign kicks-off on Thursday against the Army Reds.
“I expect the team to put up a strong performance. Jeje and Mohanraj’s presence in the squad for the Durand Cup is a big advantage,” said Chirag Tanna, Pune FC Head of Operations.
Jeje has been one of the brightest young prospects to have out of Pune FC and has put in top performances for the national side so far. He scored four goals in the qualifiers to seal a berth for India in the Challenge Cup and followed it up with a goal against Malaysia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) each in an international friendly and in the 2014 World Cup qualifier respectively. He also scored twice in the SAFF Championship which India won back in December 2011.
A day after being shown the door from the national team, Jeje featured for Pune FC in a practice game against Churchill Brothers SC in Goa which ended in a 2-2 draw with the former Indian Arrows striker being on the scoresheet.
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