THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Pune FC held to a goalless draw by Mohammedan Sporting

119th IFA Shield 2015: Pune FC U-19 v Mohammedan Sporting Club U-19

119th IFA Shield 2015: Pune FC U-19 v Mohammedan Sporting Club U-19

Pune FC Under-19s sealed the top spot in Group B with a goalless draw against Mohammedan Sporting Club in their final 119th IFA Shield 2015 group game at the East Bengal Ground in Kolkata on Monday.

In a late afternoon kick off, Pune FC dominated proceedings from the very beginning but couldn’t get the breakthrough and had to settle for a draw. Despite sharing spoils, Pune FC who already sealed a semis spot, finished the group stage in the top place with 4 points (1W-1L) ahead of Mohammedan Sporting (2 pts) and Mohun Bagan AC (1pt).

Going into the game, Pune FC Coach Naushad Moosa made six changes keeping in mind the compact schedule.

Nonetheless, Pune FC dominated proceedings from the start and created the first close chance of the game in the 23rd minute with the strike pair of Arif Shaikh and Farukh Choudhary combining well. Arif in space played a wall pass to Farukh who controlled, turned and took a crack on goal only to be denied by the Mohammedan custodian.

Six minutes later, Pune FC almost took the lead on a corner kick. Winger Pradeesh Clement’s in swinging delivery at the near post was met well by Prakash Sarkar but his header went agonisingly over.

Thereafter, both sides had a few half chances before the first half ended goalless.

The second half was a similar story with Pune FC dominating proceedings but couldn’t penetrate through.

In the 78th minute, Pune FC had a glorious chance of taking the lead. Striker Arif got into the clear and beat the keeper in a one-on-one situation in the penalty area. But as he moved towards the right after rounding off the keeper, his shot went wide across the open goal mouth.

Pune FC continued to push up in the final moments but the home side managed to hold on for a goalless draw.

Pune FC will now face Group A runners-up United SC in the first semifinal on Tuesday (May 26) at 15.30 IST at the Mohun Bagan Ground.