Pune FC completed a morale-boosting victory they were looking for with a 2-1 win over Sporting Clube Goa in a I-League 2012-13 Round-8 encounter at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Tuesday.
The victory was powered by striker Subash Singh’s brace, the first in the 42nd minute and then 66nd to complete their first victory over the Goans in their backyard on their third attempt.
For Sporting Clube de Goa, striker Obiora Richard (21st) netted to open the day’s scoring.
Pune thus completed their second away win and fourth of the season to swell their points tally to 13. Pune FC, who have played a round short, thus moved up into provisional 5th position on the league table.
Needing a win after a disappointing draw at home against United Sikkim FC, Coach Derrick Pereira changed half their playing eleven that played in the last round.
The changes included; goalkeeper Abhra Mondal (for Shahinlal Meloly), defender Chika Wali (Caitano Costa), midfielders Mumtaz Akthar (Arata Izumi), Khangtang Paite (Daisuke Nishiguch) and Subash Singh (Jeje Lalpekhlua).
Subash earned the first corner inside the opening moments of the game to make their intent clear.
In the 5th minute, a combined move down the right had James Moga pull back to Douhou Pierre, whose deft chip saw Khangtang Paite beat the off side trap but fail to keep his header down.
Seven minutes later, Subash had a golden opportunity to give Pune FC the lead. Khangthang Paite found Subash on the left. The striker with a quick one-two with Douhou did well to use his speed, gain on the ball and work ahead a 10-yard run. Subash, with just ‘keeper Ashok Singh upfront ended with his attempt blocked.
The Goans, thereafter, played a waiting game and slowly built their attacks. In one such moment into the Pune FC half, Jovel Martins tested Abhra, who pulled off a brilliant block and concede a corner-kick.
Having survived Jovel’s attempt, Pune FC found the midfielder pave way for Sporting Club’s goal in the 21st minute. Jovel pulling back the ball on the right flank, turned and sent in a cross that found striker Obiora Andue, positioned between Srikanth Ramu and Anas, head home despite keeper Abhra getting a hand to the ball.
Pune FC thereafter pushed hard and dominated by forcing a few free-kicks deep into the Sporting half. The closest being Douhou’s chip down from 20-yards out down the centre which was just long for Chika Wali who sneaked in.
Pune FC struck back with striker Subash cashing in on a rebound offered by the Goan keeper Ashok Singh. With Douhou’s free-kick blocked by the Sporting wall, the ball went out to Srikanth on right, who in turn pushed back to Anas. The defender, then, played a great long ball to Moga positioned between Freiman Pixieto and Matthew Gonsalves on the edge of the box on the left. Moga used the opportunity to unleash a powerful half volley from top of the box, which the custodian spilled for Subash to pounce and finish.
At game closed out for the breather tied 1-1.
On resumption, Pune FC had Subash work in the first attack from the left that was checked by Keita Boubacar inside the penalty box for a corner-kick.
Pune FC thereafter went into a slump and spent time soaking pressure. Having gone through the lull, Moga penetrated once only to be outnumbered.
Pune FC survived a close moment in the 65th minute, when Freeman Peixoto released a scorcher from 30 yards out that beat Abhra, hit the underside of the horizontal before being cleared by Anas.
In the same move, Douhou, picked up the ball on the right and set Subash running on the the left. Covering considerable ground, Subash on nearing the edge of the box, attempted to cross and ended sending the ball on the goalmouth, which the Sporting keeper tried tipping over in an off-balance situation. The ball, however, failed to go over and instead hit the underside of the horizontal and bounced past the goalline to give Pune FC the lead.
The goal brought life into Pune FC attacks thereafter. Substitute Arata (on for Paite) tried his best to force an attempt, which instead went past the goalmouth and a minute later Gurjinder Kumar struck the second post from long.
A last ditch injury-time try by Shanmugam Venkatesh that was blocked by the Sporting goalkeeper ended the game for a much-longed win for Pune FC.