Kitchee SC 2-2 Pune FC: Snoei's men rally to hold the Hong Kong outfit

It was a game of two halves as Pune FC turned the deficit in their favour after conceding twice in the first half...
Pune FC came from two goals behind to hold Kitchee SC 2-2 in a group H second round clash of the AFC Cup played at the Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Goals by Fernando Recio (29') and Juan Belencoso (43') gave the hosts a two goal advantage in the first half that was cancelled by Mirjan Pavlovic (55') and Gabriel Fernandes (75').

Kitchee SC's Juan Belencoso began making early inroads against the visitors who displayed a stubborn defensive performance in the initial minutes until an awkward moment for Amrinder Singh in the 14th minute saw the Pune FC goalkeeper caught in two minds before making the clearance as the rival strikers almost rushed on to the ball.

Then in the 22nd minute, a mix-up AT the back for Pune nearly cost them dearly as Xu Deshuai latched on to a mispass and rounded off Amrinder, but wasn't able to find Belencoso while the visitors defense once again recovered in time.

A surging run from the back by Fernando Recio saw the Spaniard combine well with fellow countryman Belencoso in the Pune box and after receiving the return pass placed it at the back of the net to give the home side the lead in the 29th minute.

The lead was doubled when Xu Deshuai crossed from the right and Belencoso effected a clinical finish at the far post two minutes before half-time.

Mike Snoei's second half changes made the difference as Mirjan Pavlovic got on the end of a inch perfect cross from the left by Gurjinder Singh to tap the ball in and pull a goal back for Pune FC in the 55th minute.

Chan Man Fai showed plenty of pace to move closer to the Pune goal at the hour mark, but his shot was blocked in time by Srikanth Ramu while the former shot wide under pressure three minutes later.

Cheung Kin Fung curled in a low free-kick in the 66th minute, and it took some good goalkeeping by Amrinder to keep it out. The Pune FC custodian pulled off another save in an one-on-one situation with Belencoso, who headed wide in another chance that fell to Kitchee.

With Chu Chi Kwong's side wasting their chances, Gabriel Fernandes made it 2-2 by directing a Gurjinder cross from the left to find back of the net after the move was initiated by Douhou Pierre from the center of the park in the 74th minute.

Amrinder pulled off a couple of more saves to deny Xu and Co. as the Red Lizards held on to register a point in their first overseas test.

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