(Image Courtesy: FootballCounter.com)
Pune FC held to a goalless draw by Mumbai FC
Pune FC were held to a goalless draw by arch-rivals Mumbai FC in a top-of-the-table U15 Youth League clash at the Cooperage Ground in Mumbai on Sunday.
Having shared spoils in this fifth round battle between the most consistent sides in the Maharashtra Zone, both teams took their tally to 13 points each. However, with a much superior goal difference, Pune FC (GD +20) continue to lead the standings ahead of Mumbai FC (GD +10).
Going into the game, Pune FC Coach Mohan Dass was forced into making a number of changes with Gulab Madavi, Siddhant Punjabi and Aryan Irani coming into the starting lineup.
Pune FC began the game confidently and in the opening quarter they went close through Gulam Ansari and Cladeo Nongpluh but the Mumbai FC defense stayed firm. At the other end, the hosts too had a few close attacks but all those attempts were thwarted away by Pune FC custodian Muhammed Shahad.
Despite being caught offside on a number of occasions with the hosts playing a high line of defense, Pune FC didn’t lose focus and almost broke the deadlock in the dying moments of the first half. Winger Mozaffar Ali did well get into space and lob the advanced Mumbai FC custodian but the effort ended up in the side netting as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.
The second half was played at much higher intensity than the first and both sides had some close chances with Pune FC going extremely close twice in the opening twenty minutes.
First defender Aryan Thite charged up and took a crack on the target but the attempt was palmed away by the goalkeeper in the 55th minute. Then, winger Shreepad Dorge was denied by a last ditch clearance from a defender after he did well to get a shot on target in the 65th minute.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Mumbai FC too had a few close chances but the Pune FC defense led by goalkeeper Muhammed Shahad worked well to thwart every single attempt throughout the half as the game ended goalless.
Pune FC: Shahad (GK), Aryan T (90’; Raoul), Sachin (C), Gulab, Saurabh, Mozaffar, Cladeo, Aryan I (80’; Adarsh), Gulam, Shreepad, Siddhant
Unused Subs: Deepak (GK), Amey, Aakash, Aabheer, Piyush