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Pune FC seal progression to the U-19 I-League final phase

U-19 I-League: Pune FC v PIFA Colaba FC

U-19 I-League: Pune FC v PIFA Colaba FC

Pune FC sealed their qualification to the final phase of the U-19 I-League with a clinical 5-0 win over PIFA Colaba FC in a Round 7 encounter at The Cooperage Ground in Mumbai.

Pune FC’s third win in a row in this campaign also sent them to the top of the table with 16 points ahead  of DSK Shivajians (16 pts) on goal difference after seven rounds in the Maharashtra Zone. Furthermore, the result also helped Pune FC qualify for the final phase of the competition with a game in hand.

While Pune FC did the double over PIFA, it was also the second time they scored five or more goals against their Mumbai-based opponents having won the home leg 7-1 last month. Moreover, it was a third 5-plus goal win for Pune FC, with the 6-1 victory over Mumbai FC being the other.

In a game of two halves, Pune FC scored five times in the second period, thanks to braces from Farukh Choudhary (52nd  & 73rd minute) and Altamash Sayed (70th & 83rd). Myron Mendes (63rd, Penalty) scored the other goal on a spot kick.

Pune FC went on the attack from the opening minute of the game when Sannik Murmu ran down the left flank to shoot wide past the PIFA custodian Pritam Jadhav.  The game thereafter moved into a fast paced mode with Pune FC attacking down the left through Sannik and in the centre through Altamash, Arif Shaikh and Farukh.

However for all their efforts Pune FC were unable to break the deadlock. They were constantly denied, either by the PIFA custodian or by their defence.

Both sides went into the breather locked at goalless.

The second half was a different story altogether. Seven minutes after restart, Pune FC broke the deadlock after some good combination play outside the box. Sannik and Arif combined to set up striker Farukh who tapped the ball in past a diving PIFA custodian to put Pune FC in the lead.

Within ten minutes, Pune FC scored once again. After defender Asheer Akhtar was bought down in the PIFA box, Myron stepped up and calmly placed the resultant penalty kick in the bottom left corner to double the lead.

Thereafter Pune FC opened the floodgates. Barely eight minutes later, Altamash struck a beautiful volley into the bottom left corner of the goal on Sannik’s perfect set up to make it 3-0 in favour of Pune FC.

Three minutes later, Farukh completed his brace when he chipped the ball over an advanced PIFA custodian after running solo down the left to make it 4-0. So heavy was the onslaught that PIFA substituted its goalkeeper and bought Manish Bhatkal in to stop the haemorrhaging.

However, that was of no avail as in the 83rd minute, Pune FC got their fifth. Skipper Altamash controlled a pass from Sannik, and made no mistake in firing the ball past a diving Manish to make it 5-0 for Pune FC.