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PDFA Super-6: Pune FC ‘A’ suffer first defeat, go down to BEG
Pune FC ‘A’ ended their 17-match unbeaten run going down to Bombay Engineering Group, Khadki 0-1 in the Poona District Football Association (PDFA) Super Division Super-6 League.
The result was a setback for Pune ‘A’ who have just one point after two games.
Going into the match with a host of changes in the playing eleven owing to injury and some suffering from a bout of food infection, Pune FC ‘A’ battled a robust opposition on a windy day out at the at the Range Hills ground.
Against the run of play, Pune FC ‘A’ conceded an early goal when Lalremwma Lianha Rintea conceded a penalty kick to the rivals for an accidental handball on top of the box.
Down by a goal, Pune FC ‘A’ stepped up their game and won two free kicks in their favour after striker Deepak Kumar was cut short once in the clear.
The first had Nikhil Kadam shoot into the wall from 25-yards out, while the next gave the rivals a scare with William Lalnunfela sending his effort inches wide of the second post after Nikhil and Abung Meetei played dummy to fox the rivals in the set piece.
While Pune FC ‘A’ pressed hard, the rivals played tough to keep them out of the final third.
Changing ends, Pune FC ‘A’ had to deal with a couple of close moments. Defender Rinte, midway into his own half, held back his header only to have the rival close in and lob it to his onrushing teammate, who in turn beat defender Riyan Yadgiri but ended with his effort collected by Pune FC ‘A’ keeper Sarif Molla.
Minutes later Riyan came under pressure and was lucky to have his poor clearance end up clear as the BEG striker hit wide.
Pune FC ‘A’, thereafter, slowly built their attacks, but lacked the sting. As play continued, Nikhil Kadam and substitute Shivram did well to cut into the clear on the right wing several occasions and send in crosses to keep the BEG defenders on the alert.
A double-substitution in Thonkhosiem Haokip and Anuj Negi meant fresh legs upfront and the backline. Haokip, a few minutes on, did well to put William in the clear on the left. William’s try rebounded off a defender giving James Singh a chance from 12-yards, which he ended hitting into the custodian hands.
With long periods of the match consumed in retrieving the ball going past the sidelines coupled with BEG opting to slow down play with frivolous reasons such as the replacement balls having too much air-pressure, the game lost its sting.
Towards the fag end of the game, Pune FC ‘A’ had one last run when Nikhil’s cross from the right beat the ‘keeper but bounced higher than striker Deepak’s leap to connect from 10 yards out.
The loss was Pune FC’s first since 19th March, when they began their campaign in the local league.
Pune FC ‘A’: Sarif Molla; James Singh, Riyan Yadgiri (51’; Anuj Negi), Lalremwma Lianha Rintea, Gobin Singh, Nikhil Kadam, Abung Meetie, Suji Kumar (Capt.) (40’; R. Shivram), Janak Kudmal, Deepak Kumar, L. William (52’; Thonkhosiem Haokip)
Unused Subs: Rajiv Miryala, G. Karthik