The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Regional Academy, Navi Mumbai staged a remarkable comeback to notch up a 3-1 victory over defending champions Pune FC in a memorable fourth round fixture of the U-19 I-League 2014 at the Fr. Agnel’s ground, Vashi.
It was a fast-paced game with chances galore at either end. The Academy outfit showed great character to pull off the victory over their more fancied opponents bagging the all important three points which could prove crucial in the title race.
The match lived up to all of the pre-game expectations as both teams showcased some of the finest football witnessed in the U-19 I-League this season.
Pune FC, who had the better of the early exchanges, took a deserved lead in the 38th minute.
Midfielder TS Henry Monsang released Chesterpoul Lyngoh with a precise through ball inside a crowded penalty area and the pint-sized midfielder unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner of the goal.
On to the 52th minute and the scores were tied after a spectacular individual effort from Milan Basumatary who latched on to a long ball from Amey Ranawade and with the keeper off his line, found the back of the net with a delightful chip from 35-yards out.
The champions found themselves trailing for the first time in the tournament after Rakesh Oram delicately placed the ball past the keeper from a one-on-one situation ten minutes to full time.
Any hopes of a comeback by the visitors were crushed in the 86th minute when midfielder Robinson Singh’s hopeful shot from midfield was misjudged by Pune FC custodian and ended up in the back of the net.
The win consolidates AIFF Regional Academy’s position at the top of the table as they end their first leg of the round robin games with a total of twelve points – four wins out of as many games.
Pune FC, with a game in hand, are second with six points from three outings.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)