Pune FC were left frustrated once more, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow I-League newcomers Shillong Lajong at Pune's Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday evening.
Derrick Pereira's side had taken the lead in the second half through skipper Shanmugam Venkatesh, but Lajong's Daniel Bedemi equalized in injury time to earn a point for the away side.
Pune were determined to make a quick start but it was the visitors who came close first as Boithang Hoakip tried his luck from a freekick but couldn’t hit the target.
The home side created their first opportunity after some find interplay between Venkatesh and Izumi Arata but the PIO failed to direct his shot goalwards.
Pune’s next chance fell to Kuttimani after a goalmouth scramble in the Lajong penalty area but the young midfielder’s effort was saved by Gumpe Rime.
Just before the halftime whistle Niwan Gatphoh had a half chance to test Subrata Paul but his shot went flying over the bar.
Both teams gave a lot of effort in the first half but the lack of quality in the final third kept the score 0-0 at the break.
The introduction of Sergey Tokov in the second half gave Pune a new dimension as they started creating more chances.
They look the lead in the 63rd minute when some cleverwork by Tokov setup a good chance for Venkatesh who slotted the ball past Rime with a powerful finish.
The goal gave Derrick Perreira’s team some much needed confidence but they were unable to find the second despite creating some opportunities.
Lajong kept fighting and as the game reached the last ten minutes, Pune were looking to hold on to their slim advantage.
Nepalese international Anil Gurung had the chance to score the equalizer from a Daniel Bedemi cross but the striker couldn’t find the target.
Deep into stoppage time, Lajong threw everything at Pune and it eventually resulted in a penalty for the side from Shillong as experienced defender Selwyn Fernandes handled the ball inside the box.
Nigerian Daniel Bedemi successfully converted the spot kick by sending Subrata Paul the wrong way which earned his team a point right at the death.
The result lifts Pune to 10th spot but they remain winless and only two points above the relegation zone. Lajong are just above at 9th but they haven’t won any of their last three matches.
Goalscorers: Shanmugham Venkatesh (Pune FC) 63', Daniel Bedemi pen (Shillong Lajong) 90+2'