Pune FC suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. A header from Pritam Kotal in the 77th minute was enough to hand the home team a win.
Karim Bencherifa opts for unchanged XI for Pune FC
Mohun Bagan’s coach Sanjoy Sen made three changes to his team from their previous starting eleven. Debjit Majumber was assigned goalkeeping duties while Chinadorai Sabeeth and Jeje Lalpekhlua replaced Manish Bhargav and Balwant Singh in the XI. On the other hand Pune FC’s coach Karim Bencherifa chose to send in an unchanged eleven from their 3-2 win over Mumbai FC at home.
First Half: Chances missed on both ends in goalless first 45 minutes
In a midfield-intensive first half, Mohun Bagan had plenty of chances from set pieces but were ineffective in the Pune FC goal area. Jeje Lalpekhlua came close to scoring when he fired a shot from 30-yards. Pune FC ‘s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was quick enough to put the ball over the crossbar. In the 18th minute, Katsumi Yusa managed to find the back of the net but the goal was ruled as handball.
In the 29th minute, Pune FC ‘s star international recruit Edgar Marcelino dribbled past three Bagan players before Bello Rasaq closed him down. The Portuguese playmaker was looking to pick Darko Nikac and Haokip Thongkhosiem inside the box.The two teams went into the half-time with neither team yet to breach the opposition’s defense.
Second Half: Pritam Kotal’s header wins 3 points for Mohun Bagan
Pune FC made a substitution at the start of the second half as Anthony D’Souza came in for Haokip Thongkhosiem. In the 61st minute, Pritam Kotal of Mohun Bagan made a brilliant solo run, cutting past atleast four opponents. He was eventually tackled down by Luciano Sobrosa while making an attempt to pass.
The only goal of the match came in the 77th minute. Balwant Singh placed a grounded pass to Sony Norde who put in a deep cross inside the box. The Pune FC defenders failed to clear the cross and Pritam Kotal, who was waiting at the far post, headed it past Amrinder Singh, into the goal. At full time the score read 1-0 in favour of the home side as they walked away with 3 full points. Pune FC will look to get back to winning ways in their next home game against Dempo.