I League: Pune beat Dempo
Pune FC recorded their biggest victory over an I-League champion since inception with a dominating 5-1 verdict over Dempo SC at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Saturday.
Outplaying the reigning champions with a collective 4-goal second half effort, Pune FC ended the Goans 100 per cent run in their backyard in a Round-11 encounter.
A brace by striker James Moga (15th and 53rd minute) and a goal each by Arata Izumi (76th minute), substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua (79th minute) and skipper Douhou Pierre (84th minute) enabled Pune FC complete a sensational victory.
The host's fight-back was temporary, with Joaquim Abranches (23rd minute) equalizing off a direct free-kick from 25-yards out.
The victory was Pune FC's third in Goa in the ongoing 2012-13 season and the fifth ever over the Goans in 10 meetings.
Coach Derrick Pereira made three changes for the game including defender Chika Wali, wing half Khanthang Paite and midfielder Arata Izumi for Caitano Costa, Subhash Singh and Daisuke Nishigushi.
The home side had an early chance when Clifford Miranda's volley for Rohan Ricketts saw the latter miss the opportunity as he ended up clattering Chika Wali in the second minute.
Six minutes later, the Pune FC defence was found wanting.
Miranda floated in a long ball over the Pune FC defence, Abhra Mondal sensing danger moved out of the penalty box just as Ryuji Sueoka moved in.
Abhra did well to thwart Sueoka in a one on one situation, but in doing so the ball rebounded off to Abranches wide on the right.
With Abhra in the process of retreating Abranches tried only to have the horizontal come in the way.
Pune FC had their first opportunity in the 14th minute when Othallo Tabia's cross from the right saw Khanthang Paite miss a volley from about eight yards out.
However Pune FC side didn't have to wait too long as in the very next minute they scored through James Moga.
Tabia was in the thick of action again as he sent in a through ball for Moga who timed his attempt to beat Dempo SC goalkeeper Subhashis Roychowdhury at the near post.
It did not take long for the equaliser which came in the 23rd minute as Joaquim Abranches blasted home from a direct free-kick taken from about 30 yards out which was the result of Mumtaz Akhtar's foul on Peter Carvalho.
Paite and Moga combined well and constantly kept Moga busy with timely crosses. In the 32nd minute Moga headed wide in what was one of the closest.
Dempo SC did not sit quiet either as Ricketts' shot rebounded off the Pune FC defense, while Climax Lawrence followed up with an attempt which went wide in the 39th minute.
At half time honors ended on level terms.
Eight minutes after the break, Paite did well to utalise the slip up by Sameer Naik on the left.
Gaining on the defenders' fall, Paite sent the ball across to Moga who earned possession after Debabrata Roy missed connecting his lung.
Moga with possession weaved past substitute Shallum Pires, who had come on for Mahesh Gawli at the half hour mark due to injury, moved across the goalmouth drew the keeper out and slotted home.
Douhou Pierre had a goalscoring opportunity as he had only the goalkeeper to beat but saw his effort go wide after Paite had done well to release him.
Pune FC then had the rival keeper deny them a possible goal after making a spectacular dive to his right to deny Moga in the 71st minute with Paite having worked himself into sending in a cross.
Koko Sakibo replaced Ricketts who did not have the best of outings hoping to get the equalizer in the final quarter of an hour.
However, it was Pune FC who scored next as Moga's cross for substitute Jeje Lalepkhalua saw Roychowdhury produce a reflex save only to see Arata blast home the ensuing rebound with an great anticipated run.
Jeje, however, wasn't going to let go of the next chance he got three minutes later. With Douhou prizing open the defence on the left, Jeje received the ball in the box shielded a defender and finished with a left-footer to the bottom corner at the first post.
Pune FC rubbed salt to Dempo's injuries as Douhou was next to add his name on the scoresheet. Moga found Douhou who drew the defenders out to blast home at the far post leaving the keeper a rooted spectator.
The defeat was Dempo's biggest in Goa, while Pune FC continue their dominance over the Goan side in the I-League.