Placed fifth in the league table,the Pune Football Club (PFC) began their new year with a 2-1 win against Mohun Bagan atat Balewadi on Tuesday. Mohun Bagan clearly had the edge going in to the match having won their last encounter against the PFC 3-1.
Bagan began in their characteristic fashion dominating the match right from the beginning when they won a free kickoff the third minute when Odafa was bought down outside the Pune box. It took a brilliant save from goalkeeper Abhra to save the low curling kick from Hudson Lima to keep the ball from rolling into the PFC net.
With Bagan claiming the bulk of the possession,PFC were forced to make attacks on the counter-runs. Bagan dominated proceedings in the first 20 minutes with Lima and Odafa running in easily and the PFC defence was found wanting. The mistakes eventually cost them dearly as Mohun Bagan drew first blood and scored in the 22 nd minute when Pune attacked outside the left flank through Venkatesh,that was brilliantly taken by Odafa who raced through the PFC ranks to score past a hapless Abhra. And while the match looked set to look like one of the previous PFC routs,with the defence still looking shaky and the mid-field running into blind alleys a touch of brilliance in the 36 th minute after Venkatesh was substituted by Jeje saw the ball reach Jeje who made no mistake,levelling the scores.
Soon,PFC started playing a ground game as against the aerial route taken by Bagan.
The 56 th minute saw Douhou pass the ball to Keita who made an overhead cross to the unmarked Lester. Having had plenty of time to control the ball Lester scored,giving PFC the lead. Post that PFC instead of going on the offence began to choke out the attack lines for Mohun Bagan.
With Bagan trying every trick in the book only to be thwarted by the PFC line the minutes were drying up and PFC were tightening their hold on the scoreboard. In the 93 rd minute PFC survived a scare when Odafa was bought down outside the Pune box,with Anas getting a Yellow card and Bagan a free kick. The shot,however,sailed past the net.