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Pune FC stay in hunt of semifinals, draw with United SC
Pune FC kept their hopes of making the semifinals intact with a fighting 1-1 draw against Prayag United SC in a Group-D Federation Cup encounter.
The draw swelled Pune FC’s points to 4 and a second-place in the group behind Salgaocar SC (6 pts) after two rounds. Pune FC plays Salgaocar SC on Monday in a knock out game.
Trailing by striker Carlos Hernandez’s 13th minute strike, Pune FC equalized through midfielder Arata Izumi (62nd minute). Arata’s second-half strike was his first of the current season and the second for Pune FC in the Fed Cup.
Pune FC started the game with two changes to the lineup that played against United Sikkim FC. Defender N Mohanraj and midfielder Karma Tsewang made way for Caitano Costa and Gurjinder Kumar.
With a slushy pitch to deal, Pune FC settled and were first to take a shy on goal. Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, pushing into range, ended wide with the attempt.
At the other end, United SC forced a corner-kick, which was nullified after Pune FC custodian Amarinder Singh was fouled.
Six minutes into the game, Pune FC passed a close moment. The opponent’s striker Carlos Hernandez chipped into the penalty box for Ranti Martins, who headed wide.
Pune FC pulled action away when Srikant Ramu, from the right, released a looping cross over the USC goal. Jeje kept up the tempo with an attempt off target after following a move worked on the left.
Off the second United SC corner-kick, Pune FC went in arrears. Shylo Malswaltluanga swung the ball to the far post to find Gouramangi head the ball across for Carlos to finish.
Minutes later, Pune FC had the goal post come to rescue, before quicky regrouping and moving the pressure away by attacking the opponents’ goal. In a span of seven minutes, midfielder Arata Izumi had two shots go wide. First he went over from inside the box and then wide off a layoff by Jeje.
Arata once again was in action putting his attempt out following a well worked corner-kick.
Jeje had a soft chip into ex-Pune FC and United SC ’keeper Subrata Paul’s hands.
With Pune FC having their moments of advantage, United SC constantly pressured the defence who stood up well. Both Ranti and Carlos went in, but were off target in finish.
Closing into the breather, Pune FC defenders worked overtime to save Ranti’s try on the goalline. The move was the work of Rafique cutting back the ball to deceive ’keeper Amarinder.
At half time, United SC went in with the one-goal cushion.
On resumption, Pune FC let go of a golden chance to equalize within minutes. Gurjinder put a low cross into the 6-yard box only to have the attackers fall short by inches.
Constant build-ups led Pune FC work out a close moment in the opponents final third. Jeje, used his build to advantage to hold off defender Gouramangi, moved into the box and released a try to stretched Subrata.
At Pune FC’s end, Amarinder punched out a well taken direct free kick by Carlos awarded in a wide position.
An ensuing melee at the opposite end was let away by Pune FC, before finally penetrating the United SC’s goal for the equalizer. The architect of the goal was medio Douhou Pierre whose cross from the right was nodded home by Arata.
Back on even keel, it was the defenders and Amrinder that held up all inroads. Amrinder brilliantly saved a free-kick taken low and hard by Carlos from outside the penalty box
Pune FC then brought in Japanese Daisuke Nishiguchi for Subash Singh. Ten minutes on and Daisuke was in goalmouth action. Rising to connect an Arata cross, the ball looped back to Gurjinder, who set up Jeje. The striker, however, ended wide with the attempt.
With rains making its presence, Pune FC once again had Amrinder rise to the occasion against Ranti.
Two minutes from full-time, Pune FC had one last try. A long free-kick played by Caitano Costa was met by Daisuke in the box, who ended misdirecting the ball. Off the ensuing rebound, Mumtaz Akthar had a go, but wide.
Saturday 22nd September, 2012, 3:00 PM
Federation Cup – Group Stage, Match 2
The Line Ups…
Prayag United SC: Subrata (GK); Deepak, Gourmangi, Bello, Sukhen, Tulunga (’76 – James ), Asif K (’78 – Sakeer), Rafique, Vineeth, Carlos, Ranti
Pune FC: Amrinder (GK); Srikanth, Anas, Chika, Costa, Arata, Gurjinder, Douhou, Mumtaz, Jeje (’90+3, Asim), Subash (’65, Daisuke)
Unused Pune FC Subs: Shahin, Ralte, Mohanraj, Nikhil, Rocha, Venkatesh, Karma
Yellow Cards: Gurjinder Kumar (’28)