Ten-man Pune FC consolidate top spot; down PIFA Colaba 4-0 in a heated game
Ten-man Pune FC kept their composure against PIFA Colaba in a heated game as they logged a 4-0 win in an Under-18 I-League encounter at the Pune FC Training Pitches in Mamurdi on Saturday.
Goals from Md. Yasir (52nd minute), Ashique Kuruniyan (61st), Sanchayan Samadder (65th, Penalty) and Amos Lalnienga (84th) handed Pune FC all three points for the second successive game. The hosts played the last fifteen minutes with ten men after Ashique was sent off for an incident involving the rival coach Zakir Ansari.
The fifth round win also meant Pune FC moved three points clear at the top of the Maharashtra Zone standings with 13 points, three ahead of DSK Shivajians (10 pts) while PIFA Colaba stay rooted at the bottom with just one point.
Going into the game, Pune FC made two changes to the lineup with defender Dimple Bhagat and winger Chesterpaul Lyngdoh being handed their first starts.
On an overcast afternoon, the hosts dominated proceedings from the very beginning and kept the ball in the rival half itself during the opening quarter. However, with the PIFA defense staying deep, Pune FC were finding it tough to penetrate.
Nonetheless, Pune FC almost took the lead when medio Daniel Hmar pumped up a ball from the midfield in the 19th minute. The perfect pass found Chesterpaul on the run just outside the box, but the winger’s effort went agonisingly wide.
Pune FC continued to dominate proceedings creating multiple chances for Lalawmpuia and Ashique up front. However, the duo failed to capitalise and the score stayed goalless.
The best chance of the half fell for Lalawmpuia in the first half injury time. The league’s top scorer managed to beat the offside trap but his chip over the keeper came off the vertical.
The score remained goalless going into the breather, as Pune FC failed to find the net in a half for the first time this season.
The second half began with Pune FC pushing further up as they came out with the intent to score. The constant pressure paid off as Pune FC broke the deadlock seven minutes after restart.
A long ball in the box found Lalawmpuia on the run, who, in turn passed to Ashique on the left. The striker beat his marker and slid the ball to substitute Yasir, on for Sannik Murmu, to score with a neat first-time finish on the run.
The goal gave Pune FC confidence as they pushed up in numbers and doubled their lead at the hour mark. Ashique scored with a diving header at the far post off Chesterpaul’s inch perfect cross in from the right.
Four minutes later, Pune FC increased their lead when skipper Sanchayan converted a penalty kick after Lalawmpuia was fouled inside the box on a counter attack.
Thereafter, the rivals PIFA Colaba wasted time at every single opportunity going and staying down on normal tackles, protesting every decision and didn’t want to continue playing. The situation went from bad to worse when the rival coach started abusing Ashique in front of the linesman. While Ashique was booked, Zakir Ansari, the PIFA Coach, was let off initially and when the Pune FC striker protested, he was sent off! Meanwhile, Coach Ansari continued to abuse everyone around after he too was sent off.
When the game finally resumed, Pune FC scored their fourth immediately in the 82nd minute. Striker Lalawmpuia got into the clear on the left and cut back inside the box to find Amos. The attacker controlled and rounded off three defenders to slot home from an acute angle.
The hosts had a few close chances towards the end before the referee blew the final whistle as Pune FC sealed a well-deserved 4-0 win.
Pune FC: Anuj (GK), Tarif, Sebastian, Sahil, Dimple, Sanchayan (C), Daniel (62′; Amos), Sannik (45′; Sannik), Chesterpaul, Ashique, Lalawmpuia
Unused Subs: Shainkhan (GK), Omega, Muirang, Asish, Gaurav
Yellow Cards: Sahil 56′, Sanchayan 68′, Ashique 78′, 79′