Margao, Dec 9 (IBNS): Pune FC continued their fine run on Goan soil with a 2-0 win over Salgaocar FC in an I-League 2012-13 Round 10 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday.
The victory was spurred by substitute Khanthang Paite’s second half double-strike (64th and 78th minute) which handed Pune FC their fifth win this season. The win was also the fourth over the Goans in as many visits and their third in away encounters this season.
The full points helped Pune FC move into 4th position with 17 points to their credit.
Coach Derrick Pereira named a playing eleven that had three changes from the previous match against Mohun Bagan at home. Caitano Costa replaced Chika Wali in central defence, right wing back Othallo Tabia (for Srikanth Ramu) and left midfielder Daisuke Nishiguchi (for Khantang Paite).
No sooner the game kicked off, Pune FC forced three corners inside the first 90 seconds of play. In the opening minute, Pune FC striker Subash Singh attacked a long ball by Douhou Pierre which defender Luciano Sabrosa dangerously cleared to earn a corner-kick.
The resultant corner led to another and subsequently a minute later Karma Tsewang from the right forced himself deep for the third corner-kick after Agustin Fernandes blocked.
Having absorbed Pune FC’s pressure, Salgaocar FC had their moment winning a corner to more or less complete the first five minutes of action.
With the game settled, Pune FC created the first close moment of the game. Karma's cross from the right found striker James Moga use his height to advantage, rear up between two rival defenders to glance his header wide.
At the other end, the Goans pressed and created two moments to shift pressure away from their half. First, a back pass by Costa needed ‘keeper Mondal to move out deep in the penalty area and clear. Then in the 9th minute, Quinton Jacob drove a long ranger straight into Abhra Mondal who had it well covered.
At the other end, Pune FC pushed deep and almost had Gurjinder Kumar score, but for a timely block by defender Agustin. Subash, on the right, cut back on the edge of the box and released a pass that Karma played dummy allowing Gurjinder a deflection which earned a corner-kick.
The game thereafter settled into midfield play, before a 28th-minute free-kick conceded by Anas had Abhra pull off a brilliant save. Brian Mascarenhas, from the left, floated the ball to the second post. Abhra’s well anticipated mid-air pluck was timely just before Agustin went for the header.
In the 36th minute, Pune FC had a chance. Moga, fed by Gurjinder on the right, did well to hold off Rocus Lamare, turn and cross into the penalty box. The floater flew past Daisuke and then Subash who was left yards short in anticipation.
The home side then threatened through Dada Nabeel who split Anas and Costa only to have Milagres Gonsalves miss-kick and go over.
Closing into the breather, Gurjinder had the first try on-goal with a try from 35-yards out, which was easily collected by 'keeper Karanjit.
On resumption, Pune FC had Moga's left footed attempt from inside the box following a fisted clearance by custodian Karanjit's get headed out by Collin Abranches. Moga's chance was created when Douhou floated a free-kick from the right. The striker went for the high ball, lost ariel battle to Karanjit, but did well with chance after the 'keeper fell and defenders Agustin and Luciano totally out of position.
Pune FC finally broke the deadlock through substitute Khantang Paite, who had come on for Subash 12 minutes earlier.
Moga from then the right beat Agustin and released a crisp square pass, which Khantang intelligently sneaked into the far corner ahead of Rahul Kumar's challenge and Karanjit beaten all ends up.
Coach Derrick Pereira brought on Jeje Lalpekhlua (73rd) for Daisuke to bring sting upfront. Jeje did well within five minutes with a powerful try from outside the penalty box that Karanjit had covered but fumbled in collection.
A minute later against the run of play, Khantang gave Pune FC a 2-0 advantage neatly heading home a well measured pass with the Salgaocar defence caught on the wrong foot with the cross supplied by the hardworking Karma from the right.
Spurred by the success, Douhou had Moga in the clear, but the striker could not keep his try within the framework.
In a last ditch effort to increase their tally, Paite brilliantly released for Moga who ended fouled by Milagres Gonsalves outside the penalty area. The foul earned the Goan a yellow card, but the free-kick taken by Dohou ended into the wall to end proceedings.