Pune FC edge past United SC at Kalyani

Airtel i-League 2013-14
Kalyani Stadium, Kalyani
United SC 1-2 Pune FC
USC: Hassan Moustapha(47th)
PFC: Mustapha Riga(11th, 23rd)

Pune FC edged past United SC 2-1 in the round 15 clash of the Airtel I-League at the Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani thanks to a first half double from Mustapha Riga.

Syrian Hassan Moustapha pulled one back for the hosts at the start of the second period but Pune held on for their first win in five matches.

The result moved Pune within three points of leaders Bengaluru FC while United SC are now winless in five games.

Riga of Pune FC in action against United SC, Airtel i-League,
Picture Courtesy: www.the-aiff.com 
Having lost their last two games Pune FC were eager to start well and they managed to do that by scoring in the 11th mine. A quick break saw Riga get behind the United SC defence and the former Bolton man slotted past Abhijit Das to net his fifth goal of the campaign.

United SC were struggling to get into the game but Ranti Martins and Eric Brown did combine well once with the former’s shot narrowly missing the target.

But Pune were looking more dangerous going forward and they doubled their lead midway through the first period as a fine move ended with Riga tapping home James Meyer’s cross into the six-yard box.

Being 2-0 down, United SC had a mountain to climb and they struggled to test Pune keeper Amrinder Singh for the remainder of the first half. At the other end Pune threatened to kill the game off before the interval as Meyer went close on a couple of occasions.

United SC needed an early goal in the second half to come back into the contest and they got that through Moustapha. A freekick was deflected and found its way to the unmarked Syrian who coolly found the back of the net.

The purple shirts enjoyed a good spell of pressure after that goal as Brown tested Amrinder and they also won a few corners in quick succession. Pune were playing on counter attacks and could have restored their two-goal advantage had the final ball been better.

United SC had a few bright moments but Pune custodian Amrinder didn’t have too many difficult saves to make while Abhijit Das had to be alert to stop substitute Vellington Rocha’s goal-bound effort.

The Kolkata club played in plenty of crosses in the final stages but no one could apply the finishing touch as Pune held on for a vital away win.
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