Pune FC unbeaten at home, down Bengaluru FC 1-0
Pune: Pune FC bounced back to winning ways with a drama-filled 1-0 win over Bengaluru FC in an I-League Round-9 encounter at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi near here today.
Substitute winger James Meyer scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute to hand Pune FC all three points and a fourth consecutive home win.
Goalkeepers of either side saved a penalty each in an action-packed encounter which saw Pune FC`s Arup Debnath being adjudged the Man of the Match for his performances under the bar, apart from an injury-time penalty save.
With this win, Pune FC moved to second place in the table with 16 points, while Bengaluru FC drop to third with 14.
Coach Mike Snoei made five changes to the team bringing in Arup Debnath, Salam Ranjan Singh, Srikanth Ramu, Nikhil Kadam and Anthony D`Souza in the starting lineup.
The hosts soaked pressure in the early minutes and survived a close call when striker Sean Rooney headed Beikhokhei Beingaichho`s freekick from the right inches over the bar.
Pune FC thereafter settled into the game and saw striker Riga Mustapha go close on a couple of occasions.
A minute after the half-hour mark, Pune FC earned a penalty after medio Arata Izumi was brought down inside the box by defender John Johnson. Gurjinder stepped up to take the spot-kick but saw his penalty saved by Pawan who guessed correctly.
Both sides failed to break the deadlock and went into the break tied at goalless.
Pune FC thereafter surged ahead and kept pressing the visitors` defense. Around the hour mark, striker Riga saw a couple of his attempts go wide.
Midway through the half, substitute Meyer ? on for Anthony - gave Pune FC the lead. The winger cut past Keegan Pereira on the right before his precision grounder from 22-yards out left the keeper stranded and went in after hitting the base of the far post.