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Pune FC exit after fighting loss to Salgaocar FC
Pune FC hopes of making the semifinals of the Federation Cup ended with a 1-2 loss to defending champions Salgaocar FC in the deciding Group-D encounter.
Needing a win to qualify, Pune FC fought hard despite being reduced to 10-men for the last 15 minutes owing to an injury to Arata Izumi, but fell short as their opponents attacked equally and spared no inch till the end.
Skipper Luciano Sabrosa (7th minute) struck early for the Goans, before midfielder Douhou Pierre raised Pune FC’s hopes of a comeback in the 12th minute. However, Anthony D’Souza (27th minute) was the beneficiary of a soft goal that Pune FC conceded.
Salgaocar finished on top with 9 points. Pune FC, with 4 points, dropped to third place losing out to Prayag United SC on goal-difference. PUSC (+1) pipped Pune FC (0) after beating United Sikkim FC 2-0.
Pune FC began the game making one change to their line-up with Karma Tsewang replacing Subash Singh. The Goans playing as a 4-3-3 unit were put on the defensive with Pune FC pushing hard.
Three minutes into the match, Gurjinder Kumars’s cross earned a corner kick, which ended without a threat.
At the other end, Pune FC conceded two back-to-back corner-kicks, which ended in a goal. Striker Sean Rooney and Francis combined on the right to earn the first corner. Off the delivery into the box, Pune FC goalkeeper parried a Quinton Jacobs try to give Salgaocar FC their second corner-kick.
Defender Luciano, who moved up, did well to direct his header into the goal.
Down by the early goal, Pune FC continued to push with Gurjinder’s cross winning a corner kick. Cross over from the corner, that Karma volleyed wide the clearance from top of the box.
Moments later, Douhou’s volley off an Arata Izumi cross from the left bounced wide off the target.
Two minutes later Pune FC pressed forward in numbers into the box, which led to the equalizer. The ball broke to Srikanth Ramu, outside the box, who found Douhou in the space. The Ivorian finished it with ease across the goal to level terms.
Twenty minutes into the game, Pune FC had a close moment averted by the defenders. Francis, from the right, crossed and beat Pune FC’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who got a slight touch. With Rooney lurking in the box the defenders covered up with an effective clearance just in time.
Salgaocar’s Nicolau Borges got the first booking for throwing the ball out of play.
Moments later, Pune FC failed to track and keep out Nicolau’s cross from the right resulting in Anthony (27th) slot into the bottom-left corner.
Five minutes later, the referee waived off appeals for a penalty-kick from Salgaocar’s Milagres. Pune FC, who needed a win in this match to progress, brought in attacking medio Daisuke Nishiguchi in place of Karma.
Two minutes later, the referee turned down a hand-ball appeal when Arata crossed into the box. For the remaining period, Pune FC attacked, but was unable to open up the opponents.
At half-time Pune FC trailed 1-2.
After the breather, striker Jeje Lalpekhlua laid off for substitute Daisuke, who teed up medio Arata, who shanked his effort.
The Pune FC defence was then pressured off a Salgaocar counter attack. Anas Edathodika was dispossessed by Rooney yards into the half, only to have Amrinder keep the Australian’s attempt at the first post.
Pune FC hit back with a close chance. Daisuke’s perfect lob from outside the box forced Salgaocar’s ‘keeper Karanjit Singh pull off a diving save. Pune FC’s Japanese signing, then had a glancing headed go wide after Caitano Costa delivered a cross the right.
Around the hour mark, Arata and Jeje combined well to get into the box, but the move ended wasted. Desperate for the equalizer, Pune FC brought in striker Subash Singh in place of Costa. Meanwhile, Mumtaz Akhtar was booked after he squared off with Milagres.
Five minutes later, Pune FC brought in medio Nikhil Kadam in place of Mumtaz. Nikhil created a chance almost instantly. Setting off on a solo, Nikhil got past a couple of defenders before getting checked on top of the penalty box.
Midway through the half, play was held up as Arata went down after taking a knock in a 50-50 situation. He was stretchered off and given treatment on the sidelines. Arata’s injury ended his day out and resulted in Pune FC playing out the remaining duration with 10-men.
In the meantime, Salgaocar made two changes bringing in Gilbert Olivera and Angel Guirado in place of Anthony and Rooney. Eight minutes later, Amrinder keept out an attempt from Gilbert after Angel put him clear on a counter attack.
Pune FC tried weaving into the opponents half, but ended up with all long balls cleared. In the final ten minutes, Pune FC earned a free-kick outside the penalty-box. The quickly taken kick landed on the hand of a Salgaocar defender. The referee, however, for the second time turned down the appeals and instead indicated play on.
The counter attack that followed had an alert Chika Wali clear for a corner kick. Pune FC had one last half attempt on goal by Milagres kept out by Amarinder before the final whistle.
Monday 24th September, 2012, 3:00 PM
Federation Cup – Group Stage, Match 3
Pune FC: Amrinder (GK), Srikanth, Anas, Chika, Costa (63′; Subash), Arata, Gurjinder, Douhou, Mumtaz (69′; Nikhil), Karma (37′; Daisuke), Jeje
Unused Subs: Shahin (GK), Ralte, Mohanraj, Asim, Rocha, Venkatesh
Salgaocar FC: Karanjit (GK), Nicolau, Luciano, Rahul, Fulganco, Randeep, Quinton, Francis, Rooney (77′; Angel), Milagres (90+4′; Royston), Anthony (75′; Gilbert)
Unused Subs: Vinay, Collin, Augustine, Rosario, Beeven, Nabeel
Yellow Cards: Mumtaz (PFC), Nicolau (SFC)