Pune FC go down fighting 0-1 to Salgaocar FC in the opener
Pune FC began their U18 I-League 2015-16 final phase campaign with a narrow defeat as they went down fighting 0-1 to Salgaocar FC at the East Bengal Ground in Kolkata on Friday.
Despite dominating majority of the proceedings in the game, an early strike from Salgaocar FC attacker Liston Colaco (7th minute) handed Pune FC their first defeat of the campaign.
Pune FC began the game in attacking mode and created the first close chance in the 3rd minute. Striker Ashique Kuruniyan did well to cut in past a couple of defenders from the left but his powerful drive sailed inches over the horizontal.
While Pune FC pressed high up, opponents Salgaocar managed to take the lead against the run of the play at the other end. Attacker Liston Colaco capitalised on a defensive error to beat Pune FC custodian Anuj Kumar from close range in the 7th minute.
Having conceded early on, Pune FC began attacking with intensity through Dimple Bhagat, Lalawmpuia, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Ashique, but rivals Salgaocar managed to hold on defending deep as the first half ended 1-0.
The second half was a similar story as Pune FC dominated majority of the proceedings looking for the equaliser and almost camped in the rival half. While they pushed up front, close chances fell for attackers Ashique, Sannik Murmu and Lalawmpuia but the trio lacked killer finish in the final third.
Towards the end of the game, Pune FC went agonisingly close through Chesterpaul Lyngdoh but the diminutive winger was denied as the game ended 1-0.
Pune FC now plays Aizawl FC in the second round on Sunday, 31st January, 2016 at the East Bengal Ground.
Pune FC: Anuj (GK), Sannik, Rajat, Tarif, Dimple, Chesterpaul, Sanchayan (C), Lalrinawma (22’; Sebastian), Yasir (67’; Daniel), Lalawmpuia (87’; Buanthanglun), Ashique
Unused Subs: Debopriya (GK), Muriang, Omega, Sahil