Margao: Pune FC made it to the semi-finals when they scored a solitary goal win over Vasco SC in the last match of the group D quarter-final league of the 127th Durand Cup, played at Raia Panchayat ground, this evening.
Pune FC, who needed a draw to qualify for the knock out stage, dominated the first half and after creating three scoring chances, scored the all-important goal in the 30th minute.
Sueoka Ryuji, who took the flag kick from the left, floated the ball into the box for Ganesh Dhanpal who relayed the ball for Bineesh Balan to volley home. Thus Pune FC, who topped the group with six points from two matches, play Sporting Clube de Goa in the second semi-finals on November 6 in the evening. While Salgaocar FC meet Bengaluru FC in the first semi-finals in the morning on the same day.
Vasco, who needed an outright win to to qualify for the semis, came with renewed ideas in the second half after failing to have a clear look at the rival post in the first half.
They could have restored parity in the 50th minute when Don Bosco free kick saw Amar Halarnkar shot saved on the goal line by defender Mathew Gonsalves. Two minutes latter, they even wasted a penalty after substitute Rohan Kamble was brought down inside the box by rival defender Raju Yumnam and referee Tapan Ghosh pointed to the penalty spot.
Emmanuel Ejioogu who took the penalty saw rival keeper Moniruzzaman Anasari making a diving save to his right.