Pune FC held to a 1-1 draw by AIFF Elite Academy
Pune FC were held to a 1-1 draw by AIFF Elite Academy in a third round final phase clash of the Under-19 I-League at the DSK Football Field in Loni on Friday.
Winger Dimple Bhagat gave Pune FC the lead in the 61st minute before Daniel Lalhlimpuia scored from a penalty kick in the 88th minute to pull AIFF Elite Academy level.
Having shared spoils, Pune FC (4 points) moved up to the second place in the standings three points behind leaders AIFF Elite Academy (7 pts).
Going into the game, Coach Naushad Moosa made a couple of changes handing starts to Md. Yasir and Asish Rai.
Pune FC dominated proceedings from the very beginning. The first chance of the game fell for Sannik Murmu in the 6th minute when he manage to create space outside the box, but the winger’s deflected shot went just wide.
As the half progressed, Pune FC kept on pressing up and had a few more chances through Dimple Bhagat and Md. Yasir but the attempts were off target.
With AIFF Elite Academy preferring to stay back and defend deep, Pune FC kept the pressure on. In the 27th minute, defender Myron Mendes went close when his effort after a solo run was palmed away by the keeper. Four minutes later, it was Md. Ashique whose curler from the right flank went just wide at the far post.
Into the final minutes of the half, Pune FC almost took the lead. After Yasir’s brilliant run in from the left, the youngster laid off for Sannik whose perfect shot was palmed away by the keeper as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.
Coach Moosa made a change going into the second half bringing in Balkar Singh in place of Asish. The lanky utility player was put upfront as a striker to add more firepower upfront.
After some half chances from Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Asheer, Pune FC finally took the lead a minute past the hour mark. After Chesterpaul was fouled on the right flank near the corner flag, Dimple curled in a brilliant freekick straight into the goal.
Having taken the lead, Pune FC continued to dominate proceedings but were let down on numerous occasions due to some poor officiating by the referee who made a host of questionable decisions.
Into the final five minutes of the game, the opponents were awarded a penalty after Daniel was brought down by Sannik inside the box. The striker stepped up and converted the spot kick to level scores.
Pune FC pushed up in the final minutes of the game, but AIFF Elite Academy managed to hold on for a 1-1 draw.
Pune FC: Sukhadev (GK), Dimple, Asheer (90′; Prakash), Ashique, Sanchayan, Altamash (C), Chesterpaul, Myron, Sannik, Yasir, Asish (46′; Balkar) (67′; Farukh)
Unused Subs: Tanmay (GK), Jesmon, Pradeesh, Akshay