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March 25, 2012 6:30 PM IST
 
 

Pune FC 1-0 Pailan Arrows: The Red Lizards edge past the toothless Kolkatan outfit

A goal late in the first half by Mandjou Keita proves to be the difference between the two sides, as Derrick Pereira's men provisionally climb to third in the table....

By Ayush Srivastava

Pune FC V Pailan Arrows, Izumi Arata, Mandjou Keita, Douhou Pierre
Pune FC

Pune FC recorded a deserved 1-0 win over Pailan Arrows in an I-league encounter at the Balewadi Stadium, on Sunday.

Mandjou Keita scored the all important goal in the 41st minute, after he was found by Izumi Arata in acres of space in the box.

Subrata Paul made his first start of this I-League campaign for the Red Lizards, who were still missing Jeje Lalpekhlua and Baldeep Singh due to injury.

C.S Sabeeth returned for International duty to lead the line for the visitors, while Ajay Singh and Lalrozama Fanai were dropped to the bench.

As expected, it was the home side that did all the attacking early on, as they probed the Pailan Arrows defense for an opening, particularly troubling them down the right wing with Karma Tsewang and Othallo Tabia linking up well.

It was from a move initiated by the lively Karma that Gurjinder found the back of the net in the 12th minute, only for the linesman to raise his flag, to cut short the left-back’s celebrations.

Soon after, some delightful passing between Izumi Arata and S. Venkatesh opened up a good crossing chance for the latter, but the midfielder was wasteful, as the ball went straight into the hands of Pailan’s custodian, Ravi Kumar.

With Pailan playing their usual brand of defensive football, the onus to attack fell entire on Derrick Pereira’s side, who enjoyed some brilliant passages of play but the final ball into the box was elusive.

Eventually the tempo of the match slowed down, with much of the game being played in midfield, as Pune FC lost a bit of patience in their bid to force in an opener.

The goal eventually came close to the half-time whistle, as on the 41st minute, Douhou Pierre found Arata with a through ball, who in turn picked out Mandjou Keita upfront. The striker, with plenty of space to work with, shot past Ravi Kumar to give the hosts a well deserved lead going into half-time.

The second half started in the same way as the first, with Pune FC firmly in the driving seat. Subash Singh’s low cross found Karma in the box early in the second half, but the winger mis-hit his shot and a good chance was lost to double the lead.

The energetic Subash then linked up with Venkatesh, who in turn found Mandjou Keita, but this time the Kolkatan outfit’s defenders were more alert and smothered the danger.

It was past the hour mark when Pailan Arrows finally managed to get a chance of note in the game, but Subrata bailed the hosts out, making a good save from a shot by Alwyn George.

This shook Pune FC back into action and their front duo, Keita and Subash linked up well again to set-up Karma, whose shot was, unfortunately for the Red Lizards faithful, straight at the keeper.

The former Air India striker then himself had a good chance inside the box, but dithered for far too long and was closed down by the away side.

Arata was next to try his luck, as he cut in from the left, but his shot was well over.

Keita then almost sealed all three points for Derrick Pereira’s side late into the game, as he was inches away from connecting with a beautiful cross sent in by Srikanth Ramu.

Close to full-time, Pritam Kotal almost found an unlikely equalizer, but his header was over the bar.

That proved to be the last chance of the game, as Pune FC recorded a vital win which sent them to third on the table, tied on points with Mohun Bagan, who have a game in hand.



Pune FC

41
Subrata Paul
Goalkeeper
0.00
2
Othallo Tabia
Defender
0.00
15
Anas Edathodika
Defender
0.00
15
Caitano Costa
Defender
0.00
5
Gurjinder Kumar
Defender
0.00
6
0.00
11
Douhou Pierre
Midfielder
0.00
8
Arata Izumi
Midfielder
88′
0.00
14
Karma Tsewang
Midfielder
83′
0.00
10
0.00
10
Mandjou Keita
Striker
41′
0.00

Pailan Arrows F.C.

0.00
1
Ravi Kumar
Goalkeeper
0.00
6
Avinabo Bag
Defender
76′
0.00
37
Rajiv Ghosh
Defender
0.00
4
0.00
26
0.00
19
0.00
8
0.00
44
0.00
-
Gurtejj Singh
Midfielder
0.00
39
0.00
15

Substitutes

27
0.00
25
0.00
2
N.S. Manju
Defender
0.00
4
Chika Wali
Defender
88′
0.00
24
Maninder Singh
Midfielder
0.00
31
0.00
28
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
29
Shayan Roy
Goalkeeper
0.00
41
0.00
12
0.00
23
0.00
7
Ajay Singh
Midfielder
0.00
-
Loukik Jadhav
Midfielder
0.00
36
Prabir Das
Midfielder
46′

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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