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PFC make it to final qualifying phase of I-League II-Division

Pune FC for the second successive year made it to the final qualifying phase of I League II-Division after finishing second behind Sesa Academy,Goa.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
March 15, 2009 12:01:28 am

Pune FC for the second successive year made it to the final qualifying phase of I League II-Division after finishing second behind Sesa Academy,Goa.

In the final league match against New Delhi Heroes wherein a draw or win was necessary to ensure their progress,Pune FC did well to hold-out with a goalless draw. As a result,they finished their Group-B engagements at Gurgaon totalling eight points – two wins and two draws,while NDH who needed a win fell short and finished third with five points.

In the circumstances,PFC did well but again the area of concern was their scoring department. With the feeling that PFC in a bid to qualify would adopt a play safe policy there was ample reason to believe that their strike-force lacked confidence once they got into scoring positions.

Begining with a 10th minute first-timer taken by Gobin Sewram that went way off target,it was not until the half hour that PFC almost got one in. A corner-kick taken by Rauf Khan had Kamal Thapa connect but the header flew inches over the horizontal.

A minute before the breather PFC had their best chance,rather the closest any team could get in terms of scoring. Nigerian Godson Odinaka weaving past the NDH defence carried the ball into the box,which prompted ‘keeper Rajat Guha to leave charge anticipating the striker to finish. Odinaka,instead,played the ball into the vacant space created on the left for an onrushing Gobin.

With the ‘keeper caught on the wrong foot,Gobin who received the ball on the edge of the six-yard box in his bid to trap,stop and finsh ended up tapping the ball out.

Changing ends,NDH,who had nothing to lose,went all out and dominated the opening 20 minutes forcing as many as six corners.

Having weathered the onslaught from the home team,PFC were once again subjected to pressure when in the two minutes of stoppage time NDH inducting their long throw specialist Santosh Singh managed two corners.

With the defence standing ground and withstanding the onslaught,PFC managed to keep their slate clean and in the bargain qualify.

THE QUALIFIERS
Group-A:
ONGC,Mumbai and Shillong Lajong FC
Group-B:Sesa Academy,Goa and Pune F.C
Group-C:Viva Kerala (5 pts – 3 matches) and Salgaocar SC,Goa (4pts – 2 matches)

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