Pune, Apr 4 (IBNS): Ten-man Pune FC went down fighting 1-2 to Salgaocar FC in an I-League round-24 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Friday.
Winger Gilbert Oliveira (38th minute) gave Salgaocar FC the lead before Riga Mustapha (56th) equalised from the penalty spot for Pune FC early on in the second half.
Striker Daryll Duffy (84th) then scored in the final ten minutes to hand Salgaocar a win.
Pune FC played majority of the second half with ten men after medio Dhanpal Ganesh was shown a straight red card in the 54th minute.
With this loss Pune FC stay in sixth place with 31 points from 21 games.
Coach Mike Snoei made four changes to the team handing starts to Zohmingliana Ralte, Srikanth Ramu, Dhanpal Ganesh and Thongkhosiem Haokip.
Pune FC began the better of the two sides with winger Anthony D’Souza and attacker Riga forcing Salgaocar custodian Karanjit Singh into early saves.
At the other end, striker Dudu Omagbemi’s header from close range went over after the Nigerian did well to connect Freiman Peixoto.
Five minutes past the half hour mark, Anthony did well to beat his marker on the edge of the box and chipped in a cross for Riga whose attempt was saved by the keeper.
Three minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Dudu sent winger Gilbert through inside the box on the left who finished past Pune FC custodian Amrinder Singh.
At the other end, Pune FC went close on a couple of occasions through Gabriel Fernandes but the winger failed to find the net.
Pune FC went into the breather trailing 0-1.
In the second half, Pune FC attacked from the very beginning and went close through Haokip and Gabriel. While Haokip was denied by Karanjit, Gabriel went inches wide at the far post from inside the box on the right.
Nine minutes into the second half, Pune FC earned a penalty after Gabriel was brought down inside the box by Augustin Fernandes. The situation got out of hand after the Salgaocar players started pushing and shoving Ganesh who tried to protest. While this was happening a clever playacting by Karanjit saw Ganesh being sent off and the home side reduced to ten men.
However, Riga kept his calm and slotted home the penalty kick to pull Pune FC level.
Despite being down to ten men, Pune FC continued to press hard and dominate proceedings. The hosts went close through substitute Gurjinder Kumar whose shot ended in the sidenetting and skipper Douhou Pierre deflected shot from the edge of the box went inches wide.
At the other end, Salgaocar took the lead once again in the 84th minute. Fter Amrinder saved Dudu’s initial attempt, Duffy capitalised on the rebound and headed home from close range.
Pune FC kept on pressing in the final minutes but failed to muster an equaliser.
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