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FC Pune City stay alive with dramatic 3-3 draw against FC Goa Reserves

FC Pune City stay alive with dramatic 3-3 draw against FC Goa Reserves (Photo courtesy: AWES)
FC Pune City stay alive with dramatic 3-3 draw against FC Goa Reserves. Photo courtesy: AWES

FC Pune City scored in the dying seconds to hold FC Goa Reserves 3-3 and stay alive in the AWES Cup, organised by Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Thursday.

Pune City led 2-0 at half time with goals from both their foreign players, Matthew Mills (15th minute) and Diego de Oliveira (36th minute). However, it was a completely different story in the second session as FC Goa equalised and then surged ahead, thanks to goals from Hayden Fernandes and Lalampuia. It seemed like curtains for Pune City, semi-finalists in last year’s Indian Super League (ISL), but they managed to get the equaliser in the dying seconds of the match through star striker Emiliano Alfaro.

The goal kept Pune City alive as they now need a win against Dempo Sports Club in their concluding league clash on Saturday to qualify. FC Goa bowed out with two points.

It was a fortune fluctuating clash with Pune dictating terms in the first session. Mills started the scoring in the 23rd minute when he headed a freekick which was fisted away by the goalkeeper, only for Mills to find the target.

Diego’s snap shot in the 36th minute from outside the box made it 2-0 but FC Goa fought back in the second session. At first, Hayden took the rival goalkeeper by surprise with a stunning long range attempt that found the mark. The hardworking Lalampuia then scored two opportunistic goals to make it 3-2 in favour of FC Goa.

Just when it looked like Pune City would pack their bags for home, Alfaro rose to the challenge as he poked home the winner from a corner kick in the closing stages of added time.

Pune now face Dempo in their final league clash on Saturday for a place in the final. Salgaocar FC have qualified with five points.

(AWES Cup)