I-League: Chirag beat PFC 1-0
Kolkata: Riding on a Shankar Oraon first-half
strike Chirag United beat Pune FC 1-0 in their return leg
round 18 fixture of the I-League at Yuba Bharati Krirangan
Apart from the the loss, which ended their five-match
unbeaten run, Pune FC`s Arata Izumi nasty blow through
defender Chika Wali and needed to be stretchered off the field
two minutes into the game with his bleeding upper lip that
needed 20 stitches.
Oraon struck the match-winning goal in the 22nd minute
as seventh placed Chirag (23) extended their lead over eighth
placed Pune FC to four points.
On a hot and humid afternoon, PFC began well with Arata
making the first in road, but ended up colliding with the
advancing goalkeeper Somnath Khara.
Minutes later, a free kick taken by medio Lester
Fernandes had striker Mandjou Keita head into the six-yard
box, but both Arata and Gurjinder Kumar who went for the ball
While Arata did well with the makeshift role of playing
striker in place of Edmar Figueira, his run was cut short when
former PFC defender Chika clattered Arata with his elbow and
left his upper lip bleeding which needed 20 stitches.
At PFC`s end, Chirag`s Joshimar benefiting from a let
up by J Prasad found himself confronting the goalkeeper.
However, an excellent save denied Chirag the lead.
Chirag`s next move earned them a goal when Oraon combined
with Joshimar ended up directing his right footer from inside
the box past Subrata Pal.
Down 0-1, PFC were unlucky not to earn a penalty kick
when Asim Hasan`s corner kick struck a defender`s arm and went
unnoticed by the referee.
After the interval, PFC attacked better. Subhash led the
way and ten minutes into the game crashed his effort onto the
horizontal and then missed the target that flew inches off
On the other hand, Keita almost scored when his header
from 5-yards out off an Asim corner kick went over. PFC kept
up the pressure and to their dismay had Lamine Tamba?s try
saved on the goalline. Subash then missed from close, which
only added to PFC’s misfortune.
In the dying minutes, PFC survived a scare when Joshimar,
after beating Subrata, went wide from a close. Oraon was
adjudged man of the match.