A James Moga double allows Pune FC to reclaim a point against minnows, United Sikkim Football Club...Bhaichung Bhutia earned his first point as player manager of United Sikkim Football Club as they earned a 2-2 draw against Pune FC at the Balewadi Stadium, with a brace from James Moga in either half (1', 68'). United Sikkim got two quick fire goals from DG Attvi (25') and Safar Sardar (27') in the opening half hour.
Derrick Pereira handed Jeje Lalpekhlua a start ahead of Subash Singh and Caitano Costa returned to the starting eleven from an injury to replace Othallo Tabia.
United Sikkim too made two changes from their last game as DG Attivi came in place of Lineker Machado while Monotosh Ghosh started between the sticks with Yoon Tae on the bench.
The Red Lizards could not have wished for a better start to the match as James Moga put them in the lead in under 14 seconds with a well taken header from point blank range. Moga could have doubled the lead had it not been for the alertness of Monnotosh Ghosh to come off his line to fend off the danger after the striker almost got to the end of a through ball.
However, it was the Snow Lions who got the lead with two quickfire goals from DG Attvi and Safar Sardar. Both were long range shots which easily sailed past Shahinlal Meloly.
The away side were totally dominant after the two goals as two minutes before half time they could have extended their lead as Attvi hit the post while Nadong Bhutia did ever so well to dribble past two defenders, before shooting wide.
Eight minutes into the second half and Pune FC should have equalised after having won a spot-kick but Jeje's effort went straight into the hands of Monotosh Ghosh.
Just before the hour mark, Nadong Bhutia had an opportunity to extend his side's lead but he chose to pass the ball instead of having a crack on goal himself after being played through by Munmun Lugun.
Jeje was the guilty party again as he saw his header go wide from substitiute Nikhil Kadam cross from the left.
Pune FC had to look for Moga for inspiration and indeed he did provide one. He received the ball outside the box on the right and his left footed shot to the far post gave Monotosh Ghosh no chance to pull off a save.
The Red Lizards could have sealed all three points but Jeje's poor form in front of goal continued as he missed a header from inside the box in the 72nd minute. It wasn't least bit surprising to see Pereira substitute him in the very next minute and bring on Subash Singh.
Shahinlal produced a stunning save from a Safar Sardar shot in the 78th minute and seven minutes later, Bhaichung himself came on the field hoping to inspire his side to their first away victory this season.
The final chance in the game came Pune FC's way as Moga received a long ball from defence by chesting it down. His fierce shot saw a combination of the goalkeeper and the post save the day for United Sikkim as Pune FC had to share the spoils.
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