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Defending champions Pune FC off to a winning start

U-19 I-League: Pune FC v Kenkre FC

U-19 I-League: Pune FC v Kenkre FC

Defending champions Pune FC got off to a winning start with a facile 3-0 win over Kenkre FC in the U-19 I-League 2014 at the Goan Sports Association ground, Mumbai on Friday.

The two-time champions opened their account through Vikas Zanze (33rd minute) to take first-half honours, before Shoaib Sayed (76th) converted a penalty-kick and substitute Arnold Yumnam (90+3rd) completed the tally.

The away win helped Pune FC check Kenkre FC’s run after having won their opener against PIFA.

Pune FC began in a flourish winning a corner-kick off the second touch of the game to make their intentions clear. Off the corner-kick, defender Kaushal Singh’s try went over.

Next up, Striker Shoaib went close in the 12th minute. Capatalising on a slip-up by the rival defender Manish Punjabi, Shoaib sent his volley just wide.

The striker, was once again in action when the rival keeper Anil Gauda fumbled with his collection but did well to evade a situation.

A couple of attacks by the Mumbai side put pressure on Pune FC, but the defence stood tall to keep the attacks at bay.

At the other end Shoaib was in the thick of action inside the penalty box. Finding himself in possession 12-yards from the goal the striker was done in by a host of legs that pushed forward to thwart the attack.

Pune FC slowly settled down and pushed their attacks from the right. Winger Chesterpaul Lyngdoh proved to be quite a hand full and made his impact when he supplied a good cross after picking up medio Altamash Sayed’s well played pass. The cross troubled the ‘keeper, who just about managed to keep the ball from Shoaib and Vikas who were short in meeting the cross.

Pune FC finally got the breakthrough from Chesterpaul’s effort from the right. Carrying the ball for about 10 yards, a pin-point grounder to Vikas inside the 8-yard box gave the striker a chance to dig the ball home after fumbling on his first try.

Kenkre then had a good chance when Arish Sutaria missed after Arif Shaikh’s cross from the right put him in the clear.

At the breather Pune FC led 1-0.

On resumption, Pune FC were pushed on the defensive in the opening minutes, which continued for a while.

It was in the 58th minute, Pune FC created the first chance of the half. Chesterpaul from the right released well to find Arnold Yumnam (on for Vikas Zanze) who attempted at second post only to have the keeper block and then put the rebound out.

Arnold then had another snapshot, agonisingly missing the target by inches. At the other end Pune FC had a close moment when Subhasish Bose had to stretch to intercept Arish inside the box.

Pune FC’s second goal came off a great ball played by Kaushal, who found Arnold inside the box and in a 1-1 situation with Shaun Fernandes. The hosts’ defender, in his bid to stop Arnold, pulled him down to concede a penalty-kick. Shoaib stepping up made no mistake and sent the keeper the wrong way.

On the stroke of regulation time, Altamash went wide at the second post and squandered a golden chance to go three-up.

Deep into the injury time a freekick on the right paved the way for Pune Fc’s third goal. Henry quickly released to Sanchayan who played back and the resultant cross was headed home by Arnold from close.