Pune: Pune FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Clube de Goa in an I-League Round-7 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex here on Saturday.
In a hard-fought encounter, Pune FC took the lead through striker Thongkhosiem Haokip (54th minute) before Sporting equalised through Victorino Fernandes twelve minutes later.
The draw was Pune FC's second in a row at home and the point earned took their tally to 12 points maintaining their second place in the table, one point behind leaders Royal Wahingdoh (13 pts). The result was also the fourth time both sides played out a draw at the Balewadi Stadium in the last five years.
Going into the game, Pune FC Head Coach Karim Bencherifa made three changes handing starts to Lalrempuia Fanai, Nikhil Kadam and Mathew Gonsalves.
The game began in an interesting fashion for Pune FC.
Playmaker Ryuji Sueoka and Haokip began running down the right flank right from the second minute on, sending the Sporting defence into a tizzy. Mathew Gonsalves, in the eighth minute floated in a stunning ball for Haokip who could not direct the ball in past the sporting custodian Ravi Kumar.
Almost immediately in the 11th minute, Mauvin Borges went down outside the box at the other end and the referee awarded Sporting a free kick. The subsequent shot was saved brilliantly by Amrinder Singh.
Meanwhile, Sueoka retaliated two minutes later through a brilliant crack from the right side but the effort whizzed past the woodwork. Another effort by Sporting two minutes later saw Boima Karpeh run clear avoiding the offside trap.
However he was unable to beat Amrinder, and Mathew who came running in by then cleared the ball.