U-19 i-League: Pune FC beat Mumbai FC

Defending champions Pune FC logged their second win in the Under-19 I-League with a facile 4-1 win over Mumbai FC in a home game at the Pune FC Training Pitches, Mamurdi, on Monday.

The win was Pune FC’s second in as many matches and took their tally to six points.

Pune FC  struck twice in either half with Yumnam Arnold Singh (4th), Chesterpaul Lyngdoh (45th) netting in the first session of play, before Altamash Sayed (84th)', Kiran Choukashi (90th) completed the tally. Mumbai FC put up a fight with Akshay Phisalkar (59') reducing margin, but could not contain the home side thereafter.

Pune FC took the lead almost instantly after dominating the initial proceedings. Off a freekick earned inside the opponent’s half, Altamash founde defender Kaushal Singh, who in turn found Chesterpaul on the right. The winger slid in a ball to Arnold who finished it easily from inside the box.

Pune FC U-19 make it two in a row in the U-19 i-League,
Picture Courtesy: Pune FC
With Pune FC continuing to press, striker Vikas Zanje almost doubled the lead on the quarter hour mark. The Pune-born forward, dispossessed an opponent on the left before sliding the ball past an advanced keeper from the edge of the box. His attempt however, went wide at the far post.

Constantly under pressure, the Mumbai FC defense kept on making mistakes gifting Pune FC chances aplenty. In the 28th minute, a weak goalkick from the keeper found Arnold lurking on the edge of the box. The striker pushed ahead on the right, but his low effort towards the second post went wide.

Couple minutes later, the hosts were once again guilty of poor finishing. With skipper Henry Monsang sending Arnold clear, the striker, one-on-one with the keeper, saw his attempt saved. The rebound fell for Vikas, who once again failed to capitalise.

Pune FC finally doubled their lead in the last minute of the first half. Vikas worked his way up and tried from the edge of the box on the left only to have his attempt saved. Chesterpaul, lurking in the area made no mistake in finishing off as Pune FC took their 2-goal lead into the break.

The second half was a similar story as Pune FC continued to press. Five minutes in, Cheterpaul was sent though by Arnold and the winger let fly from the edge of the box on the right. His effort was saved by the keeper.

Seven minutes later, Altamash perfect lob pass found left-winger Rushabh Dhere on the left. His attempt on the half volley sailed inches over the crossbar.

At the other end, Mumbai FC pulled a goal back through Akshay Phisalkar. The winger capatalising on a defensive lapse off a cross finished from close to narrow the margin (2-1).

Pune FC, thereafter, had a series of close attempts go abegging. First, Altamash slid the ball from the right that went past the rival goalkeeper which opened up a chance for Chesterpoul who dug into the defence.

Five minutes past the hour Kiran’s left-footed half-volley was saved by the keeper, Henry Monang then had his direct free-kick kept out by the custodian.

Mumbai FC off a counter took the attention away and almost scored when in the 70th minute, Ashutosh's effort on Akshay's low cross from the right hit the woodwork.

Fourteen minutes later Pune FC made it 3-1 off a 25-yard free-kick. Altamash's effort hit the underside of the crossbar and bouncing inside the goal.

In the final minute of the game, Pune FC completed the tally. Altamash with a controlled lob from the ball found Kiran who did well to loop it over the keeper who advanced deep off the line.
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