Eelco Schattorie men win two on the trot as Pune's winning streak comes to an abrupt halt in the east...
Lalkamal Bhowmick broke the deadlock for the hosts with an absolute wonder-strike on 68 minutes before Ranti Martins doubled the lead on 85 minutes.
With that long winning streak behind them, the visitors understandably started as the better side. In the initial stages both teams resorted to long balls but the better opportunities came Pune’s way. In the 23rd minute, Karma Tsewang won possession in midfield and he released James Moga who in return set up Douhou Pierre but the midfielder’s shot went way over the bar when he really should have done better.
In the 39th minute, that pair was at it again after Arata Izumi fed the ball to Moga but Pierre again blazed his shot off target. Prayag failed to create too many clear-cut chances in the first half although they enjoyed most of the posession and the Red Lizards should have gone into the break with a lead but for poor their finishing.
In the second half, just as the game against Dempo SC, the hosts were the dominant side as they came out looking to turn things around. Derrick Pereira’s side still seemed happy to sit deep and absorb the pressure but they allowed Lalkamal Bhowmick way too much space in the middle of the park and that would eventually prove to be their undoing.
On 65 minutes, Moga sprinted down the right and took an outrageous hit on the angle after drifting in, his shot rattled the bar before the keeper pounced to collect the rebound. Almost instantaneously, Prayag attacked down the right and after Pune failed to clear their lines from the resulting low cross, Bhowmick pounced to unleash a thunderous shot from 25 yards out and the ball nestled into the top corner, leaving Abhra Mondal stranded.
As the westerners pushed to restore parity, Ranti Martins wrapped up the points with five minutes to play. After another patient passing move, Deepak Mandal received the ball on the right and delivered a teasing ball in, as the Pune defence failed to clear, Martins applied the calm finish at the back post, shooting across the keeper and into the corner.
Pune failed to create any chances of note in the second half and truth be told their final ball was lacking throughout the game.
With the result Pune remain second with 28 points meanwhile, the home side are sixth on the table with 20 points after their second win on the bounce.
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