The second division side gave a good account of themselves against the Red Lizards who were forced to split points at full time...Eagles FC held Pune FC 1-1 in a Group A match of the 35th Federation Cup played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, Kerala.
Mustapha Riga scored in the 60th minute for Mike Snoei's side while Koko Sakibo equalised in the 78th minute.
It was the Kerala-based side that started on the front foot with Sushil Kumar Singh getting into a very good position to head a long ball on target. However the former Shillong Lajong striker could not generate enough power in his effort.
Thereafter Gouranga Biswas almost sneaked through the Pune FC defense with goalkeeper Amrinder Singh just about managing to negate it.
In one of the rare chances created by Pune FC in the first half, Douhou Pierre put in a cross which was however a tad too high for Arata Izumi in the 20th minute.
Meanwhile Sushil had another good chance before the half hour mark but he failed to control a cross inside the box thanks to a poor first touch.
Pune FC were a reformed side after changing ends. Anthony D'Souza cut his defender and saw his right-footer sail over the bar.
The score-line could have read much in favour of the visitors if it wasn't for Eagles defender Charles Dzisah who did well to ward off the opponent's attacks at crucial interceptions.
Besides the heroics of their Ghanaian defender, the Eagles custodian Jagroop Singh was alert to latch on to Anas Edathodika's free header in the 58th minute.
Jagroop pretty much undid his good work when he fumbled to a cross by Othallo Tabia from the right allowing Riga to slot into the back of the net at the hour mark.
On the other side, his counterpart in Amrinder Singh dived full length to his left to keep out a direct free-kick taken by Odili Felix Chidi.
The equalizer came in the 78th minute which produced a huge uproar from the fans. Koko Sakibo burst into the rival box and saw his first shot blocked by Edathodika. However, the experienced defender could do nothing against his second attempt on the rebound which found the back of the net.
Towards the closing stages, the Kerala outfit kept the ball well and didn’t the opposition to create any clear cut openings with the two teams settling for a point each.
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