In a game dominated by Salgaocar FC, Pune FC would thank their luck for coming away with a point after referee Pranjal Bannerjee awarded a contentious penalty from which the Red Lizards scored the equalizer.
Mike Snoei, the Pune FC gaffer, pointed toward the physical presence of Darryl Duffy and Claude Gnakpa which posed problems for his side. He admitted not having a clear view to determine whether they should have had the penalty decision from which Mustapha Riga scored.
“It's a result, but I'm happy with the way we came back in the match because Salgaocar was much better in the first half. They won all second balls. Their two strikers (Claude Gnakpa and Darryl Duffy) are physically strong and we had some problems in our midfield. We made some changes (Thongkhosiem Haokip for Mumtaz Akhtar) and you saw immediately that they had some problems with that and I was happy with that. So it gives us one point. I don't know if it was a clear penalty, but we had one or two other chances.”
Snoei opined that a draw was a fair result on the balance of play as his side gave a good account of themselves after the break.
“It was a real battle which was not always fantastic football, but I think it's nice to watch. We must be honest that Salgaocar was better in the first half and I must say that we fought back.
“We made a little change by bringing in our young striker [Thongkhosiem] Haokip. He gave some pressure on their defense and we created some more chances as well. So we did much better in the second half and I think we both can live with the point.”
Calum Angus is yet to recover from an injury and it looks like the centre-back wouldn’t be in action very soon.
“His is a muscle injury. He tried to come back and he's very close. We cannot take any risk because if he doesn't completely recover then maybe he could be out for six weeks,” he stated.
Salam Ranjan Singh partnered Anas Edathodika at the heart of the defense and Snoei praised their academy lad for putting in a decent shift.
“We have a fantastic lad from the academy - Ranjan [Singh] - and it's also nice to see him. Of course, we want to play with Calum as he's our best player, but it's also good for the guys like Haokip and Ranjan to show something in Indian football.”
Riga opened his account for Pune FC with a penalty goal and Snoei mentioned that the player will take time to adapt to the conditions and pace of the game in the I-League.
“He’s happy with it, I think. He was looking for it. He thought 'oh I will do it' but it's not that easy. I’m sure he will adapt 100 percent going forward.”
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