Pune FC shock Salgaocar 2-0 to end home I-League campaign
Pune: Pune FC pulled off a surprise 2-0 victory over defending I-League champions Salgaocar SC of Goa to end their home campaign on a rousing note at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Mhalunge-Balewadi on Thursday.
The victory, fashioned by a goal in either half by strikers Mandjou Keita (27th minute) and Subash Singh (86th minute), helped Pune FC (46 points) to move into second place after completing their round 25 engagement.
It was the 13th victory of the season for Pune FC and their second successive one over the fancied Goans in this season`s league, having won the first away encounter 3-1.
Making four changes in their line-up, Pune FC did the early running and Ganeshan`s long ball to Subash Singh deep into the box saw an alert defender Rahul Kumar come up with a timely clearance.
At the other end, Gilbert Olivera tested Pune FC custodian Shahinlal with a long ranger, which turned out to be a regulation collection.
With the game into the 11th minute, Pune FC almost forged ahead. Striker Subash Singh, put through by a Paresh Shivalkar header following a Lester Fernandez cross from right, missed from inside the penalty box.
Seven minutes later, Pune FC created their best chance. A brilliant move initiated by medio Douhou Pierre saw Subash cross into the box leaving Lester and defender Biswajit Saha an equal chance inside the box.
The Goan defender, in his bid to clear, missed allowing Lester square the ball to an unmarked Keita, who miscued his try.
But Keita made amends in the 27th minute through a penalty-kick conversion with a placement to the right of goalkeeper Karanjit Singh. The penalty came after Keita`s goalbound header landed on the hand of defender Nicolav Colaco.