Pune FC are in for their worst-ever finish in an I-League campaign after the Red Lizards went down 1-2 to East Bengal Club in a Round 25 match of the Airtel I-League at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday.
Timely goals by Edeh Chidi (72nd) and Seminlen Doungel (75th) gave East Bengal the edge as they walked away with a well-deserved win.
For hosts it was Anthony D’Souza who scored the lone goal in the 39th minute to put Pune FC ahead, but late goals spoiled their party.
The match began with the visitors dominating the proceedings enjoying maximum ball possession. The hosts looked dangerous in patches but luck was not on the side of Pune FC as they were unable to make a mark.
Pune FC’s Gurjinder Kumar got a good chance in the 11th minute but his shot flew over the crossbar. Soon after, East Bengal’s Lalrindika Ralte too shot over the bar in the 21st minute.
The goal tally would have been higher as East Bengal lost some opportunities that came their way. In the 22nd minute some good work by Pune FC custodian Amrinder Singh denied East Bengal a chance to take the lead.
Pune FC had a goal scoring opportunity in the 29th minute when Douhou Pierre who was far right took a shot which landed straight to Thongkhosiem Haokip who could not control it as it went wide and away from the goal.
Later an injured Gabriel Fernandes had to be taken out due to a bad fall with Prakash Thorat replacing him in the 31st minute.
It was Pune FC who took the lead when Anthony D’Souza scored as they took the halftime on a high.
Local lad Thorat proved dangerous as he went in for the kill but he was not properly partnered by his teammate as most of his attempts went in vain.
Leading by a goal Pune FC tried hard to go in for the lead as the crowd began expecting that this might be the day for Pune FC.
When things began to favour of Pune FC, the visitors scored the equaliser in the 72nd minute through Chidi when he made no mistake in slotting the ball into the nettings.
A few minutes later Seminlen Doungel made it 2-1 sending the visitors in a celebration mode.
After this win East Bengal are now in the second position, behind leaders Bengaluru FC while the hosts remain on the seventh position.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)