Pune, Dec 7 IBNS | 9 months ago

Pune FC suffered their first home loss of the season going down 1-2 in an I-League Round-13 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi in Pune on Saturday.


Medio N. P. Pradeep (12th minute) gave Mumbai FC the lead before Arata Izumi (41st) equalised for Pune FC in the first half. A goal from striker Yusif Yakubu (60th) in the second half handed Mumbai FC the win in the season's first Maha-Derby.

The loss was Pune FC's (19 pts) second of the season and saw them slip down to the third position while Mumbai FC are now in ninth place with 14 points.

Coach Mike Snoei fielded the same playing XI from the previous match making only one change to the eighteen - Othallo Tabia replacing Denechandra Meitei.

After half chances at either end in the opening ten minutes, Mumbai FC took the lead. Winger Nicholas Rodrigues sent in a low ball from the left that beat the Pune FC defense and allowed an onrushing Pradeep to finish on a slide.

Pune FC finally went close five minutes later. Winger James Meyer evaded a couple of challenges and let fly from 35-yards out on the right. His attempt, however, ended up in the side-netting.

Five minutes later, Meyer once again created a chance. His cross in from the right saw Mumbai FC's Ashutosh Mehta head inches over his own net trying to clear.
Pune FC kept on pressing for the equaliser but missed passes in the final third cost them.

Into the final ten minutes, Pune FC went close once again. Meyer held on to the ball inside the box before finding medio Fanai Lalrempuia on the right wing who floated the ball in for striker Riga Mustapha. Riga managed to connect the overhead volley but his attempt was saved by the keeper.

Five minutes later, Pune FC finally equalised. Playmaker Douhou Pierre went on a brilliant solo leaving behind six defenders and covering almost fifty yards inside the opponent's box before finding Arata unchallenged inside the box. The India-international controlled and slotted past keeper Nidhin Lal to bring Pune FC back into the game.

In the dying minutes of the half, Riga missed a sitter, fluffing his attempt, after Nikhil Kadam did well to set him up with an open chance as both teams went into the break tied at 1-1.

Twelve minutes after restart, Mumbai FC once again went close only for Pune FC keeper Amrinder Singh to keep them at bay. After confusion in the defense, Amiri capitalised and created space. The Afghan national then let fly a left-footed attempt from the edge of the box which saw Amrinder produce a brilliant diving save.

Three minutes later, the visitors once again took the lead. This time Yakubu found the net with a stunning volley from the edge of the box off Rodrigues' cross.

Pune FC once again had to play the chasing game and went close ten minutes later. After Meyer and Douhou to create space for Arata, the medio crossed in for Riga inside the box. The striker was once again unlucky as NIdhin Lal produced a diving save.

Into the final quarter of the game, Pune FC kept on pressing looking for the equaliser. However, time-wasting tactics from Mumbai FC once again led to constant stoppages.

Players from the visiting team kept on going down at regular intervals. On one occasion Amiri went down without any reason near the bench which led to Snoei and the home support giving him a mouthful.

Mumbai FC however held on for the win as Pune FC suffered their second loss of the season.

(Posted on 07-12-2013)