The Red Lizards were brushed aside by Tampines Rovers who put up a five star performance in Pune...Tampines Rovers FC defeated Pune FC 5-2 in a Group H match of the AFC Cup played at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune, on Tuesday.
The Singapore outfit move second in the group with this win and are now four points behind Hong Kong's Kitchee SC (10) while Pune FC remain at the bottom with two points from four matches.
Milan Mrdakovic (6') scored the opener for the winners before Mustapha Riga (13') and Anthony D'Souza (15') put the home side in the lead. However, Jamil Ali levelled the scored a minute before half-time. Aleksandar Duric completed his brace (57', 69') in the second half with Fahrudin Mustafic (59') getting a goal in between.
Pune FC’s first choice custodian Amrinder Singh, central defender Anas Edathodika and midfielder Anthony D'Souza were restored to the the starting line-up after missing the previous game against Bengaluru FC in the I-League.
Salim Moin also made three changes to the Tampines Rovers side with Luis Closa, Anaz Hadee and Shariff Samat all being drafted into the starting eleven this time around.
Tampines Rovers started on the front foot as Miljan Mrdakovic opened the scoring as early as in the 5th minute. The Tampines striker headed in a Jamil Ali cross after the latter was unmarked on the right.
The home team battled back through Riga who equalized soon after in the 12th minute. Douhou Pierre’s inch perfect through ball found Riga who rounded off the keeper to bring the scores level.
Pune FC kept up the tempo as they went on to take the lead in the 14th minute courtesy an Anthony D’Souza goal. The midfielder combined well with Riga on the left as he went past three Tampines defenders and smashed a powerful right footer into the roof of the net.
The Red Lizards went on to dominate proceedings following the quick fire brace. The away side committed a number of fouls in an effort to get back into the game. Arata Izumi, Douhou Pierre and Mirjan Pavlovic combined to good effect in the 32nd minute to send Anthony D'Souza clear but his effort was blocked by the keeper.
Defender Anas Edathodika injured himself in the 38th minute and had to be replaced by Zohmingliana Ralte.
The substitution did not halt the home side's performance as Pavlovic was put through by Gabriel Fernandes in the 39th minute. The striker's effort was blocked by the goalkeeper.
The Singapore-based side equalized at the stroke of half time through midfielder Jamil Ali. Fahrudin Mustafic's long free kick into the box was controlled by Jamil who slotted home with ease to get his team back in the running.In the second half, the away team took the lead in the 57th minute via an Alexander Duric goal. Luis Closa found himself clear on the left and his cut back found Duric who tapped it in to give Tampines the lead.
Things got worse for the home side as Ralte was deemed to have handled the ball inside the box by the referee. Mustafic Fahrudin stepped up to take the spot-kick sending Amrinder the wrong way to gave Tampines a 4-2 lead.
Mike Snoei made two substitutions in the 63rd minute as he replaced Douhou and Mumtaz with Thongkhosiem Haokip and Gurjunder Kumar respectively.
The change failed to have any impact as the away side went on to score their fifth goal of the game in the 69th minute. It was Jamil Ali again who was the creator as his through ball found Duric who finished from the edge of the box.
Mirjan Pavlovic tried to bring Pune back into the game, but his powerful shot in the 74th minute went off the woodwork which was followed by the Croatian's header off D'Souza's cross being denied by the upright as the Indian outfit weren't able to make their way back into the match.
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