I League: Pune goes down to Salgaocar
Pune, Feb 2 : Pune FC on Saturday went down 0-2 to Salgaocar FC in an I-League Round 19 encounter at the Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi here.
A Francis Fernandes brace (2nd and 45th minute) in the first half settled the tie in the visitor's favour.
With this loss Pune FC stay joint 4th with 30 points from 17 games while Salgaocar FC stay 11th with 17 points from 18 games.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men into the final moments of the game after defender Gurjinder Kumar received his marching orders.
The visitors took the lead inside two minutes when Francis controlled Randeep Singh's cross into the before slotting past Pune FC custodian Abhra Mondal.
The hosts soaked pressure in the first ten minutes before coming out of the shell to create their moves. Karma Tsewang's cross in from the left was headed straight into the keeper by striker Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Minutes later, Jeje's attempt was once again blocked by 'keeper Karanjit Singh after playmaker Douhou Pierre sent him through.
The game turned more physical and Salgaocar's skipper Luciano Sobrosa was stretchered off to be replaced by Ojimi Obaiola.
Salgaocar doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Francis completed his brace. Ojimi's snap shot from the left was blocked by Abhra but the rebound fell for an onrushing Francis who scored.
Pune FC started pushing ahead in search of a goal in the second half, however finishing in the final third let them down. Substitute James Moga's cross for Arata Izumi inside the box was just too high to connect.
Midway through the second half, Karma's long ball into the box was misjudged by Karanjit however the ball went wide of the far post.
Five minutes later, midfielder Mumtaz Akhtar's shot was blocked by substitute keeper Vinay Singh ahead of Moga and Karma's rebound went just over.
Pune FC had several chances in the closing moments of the game, but failed to convert and were left disappointed.