United Sports Club 1-2 Pune FC: The visitors hold on for a vital away win

Pune FC put an end to their five-game winless streak as they hung on to secure all three points away to United SC...
United Sports Club lost 1-2 to Pune FC in a round 15 I-League encounter on Sunday afternoon at the Kalyani Stadium. A first half brace from Mustapha Riga (11',23') gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before the deficit was halved by a Hasan Al Moustafa strike two minutes into the scond half.

Both sides tried to gain a foothold in the game early on and Pune FC started better of the two and were soon rewarded for their efforts in the 11th minute.

Mustapha Riga broke the deadlock as Dhanpal Ganeshan’s excellent long ball over the top of the defense saw the striker beat the offside trap and finish to give his side the lead.

Five minutes later, Douhou Pierre executed a nice back heel to Riga but the goal scorer’s shot from range was straight at the keeper.

United SC finally had a sight of goal in the 18th minute when Deepak Mandal won the ball high up the pitch and played in Ranti Martins on the right who couldn’t find the target with a wayward shot.

In the 23rd minute, the away side doubled their lead and it was Riga on the score sheet again. Salam Ranjan Singh won the ball before passing it to Douhou who slipped in a nice through pass to James Meyer. The Australian unselfishly passed it to his strike partner Riga who finished into an empty net.

Ranti directed his header just wide from Eric Brown’s 38th minute free-kick and the hosts went into the break trailing 2-0.

The Kolkata outfit got off to the perfect start in the second half. Two minutes after the restart, Lalkamal Bhowmick’s free-kick created utter confusion in the Pune penalty area and Hasan Al Moustafa was the quickest to react and put the ball in the net to halve the deficit at 1-2.

Three minutes later, Bello Rasaq crossed the ball to C.K. Vineeth who unleashed a shot at goal but the ball landed safely into the grateful hands of Arminder Singh. Vineeth had another attempt in the 68th minute but this time his strike from range sailed well over the bar after some nice build-up play.

In the 76th minute, United went agonisingly close to grabbing an equalizer as Bello’s header from a corner-kick went just over the crossbar. Second half substitute, Surajit Bose then went close three minutes later as his shot struck the woodwork.

With two minutes of regulation time remaining, Ranti had a great chance to level the scores from a Lalkamal cross but the striker could only head wide.

The result saw Pune FC finally pick up three points after a five-game winless streak meanwhile, United have embarked on their own dry patch with the result being their fifth game on the trot without a win.

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