36th AIFF FEDERATION CUP 2014-15
FED CUP 2014-15: Pune FC go down 1-3 to Salgaocar FC in a hard fought clash.
07.01.2015 : SALGAOCAR SC 3-1
SAL : Douhou 36', Duffy 70', Gurjinder 76'
PFC : Sueoka 60'
07.01.2015 : SALGAOCAR SC 3-1PUNE FC (FT.)
Pune FC put in a valiant effort but went down fighting 1-3 to Salgaocar FC in a Federation Cup Group-B final round clash at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Wednesday. In a game of equal exchanges, attacker Douhou Pierre (36th minute) put Salgaocar in the lead before Ryuji Sueoka (60th) pulled Pune FC level in the second half. However, goals from Darryl Duffy (70th) and Gurjinder Kumar (76th) handed Pune FC their second loss in a row.
The game once again saw some questionable decisions from the officials as Pune FC were denied a game changing goal in the second half while the opponents Salgoacar FC were awarded penalty out of nothing. The loss meant Pune FC ended their Federation Cup campaign in the group stage staying in the fourth place with 4 points.
Going into this must win game, Coach Karim Bencherifa made three changes to the squad with Anthony D'Souza, Nikhil Kadam and Munmun Lugun replacing Ryuji Sueoka, Lalramluaha Hmar and Mathew Gonsalves in the eleven. It was Pune FC who dominated proceedings early on with winger Nikhil Kadam going close on a couple of occasions in the opening ten minutes.
At the other end, Salgaocar went close through medio Gilbert Oliveira who had volleyed attempt from outside the box go wide in the tenth minute. Thereafter, Pune FC continued to press up with a lot of attacks from either flank. In the 14th minute, it was striker Thongkhosiem Haokip who used his physical strength to win the ball in the midfield and set on a solo run. However, his attempt from 22-yards out on the run drifted wide.
Midway through the half, Pune FC almost took the lead. Winger Anthony D'Souza on the left found Haokip down middle who squared the ball to Nikhil on the edge of the box, but his curling attempt came off the woodwork. At the other end, Salgaocar took the lead against the run of play. Duffy on the left, slid back a ball to Gurjinder whose cross into the box was headed home by Douhou Pierre from point blank range.
Pune FC started pushing up and had a few close chance through defender Raju Yumnam and Anthony, but their attempts lacked the finish. Pune FC went into the breather trailing 0-1. The second half saw Pune FC go all-out attack right from the word go. However, once again Salgaocar's deep defending was making the difference.
Pune FC's persistence finally paid off as substitute Ryuji Sueoka pulled them level. The Japanese playmaker controlled Anthony’s cross in from the box, an fired a low shot which was deflected into the goal. The duo once again combine two minutes later, but it was Subrata Paul who denied Sueoka from close range to keep the scores level.
Meanwhile, the game had turned physical with tackles flying from both sides. In the thick of action, Salgaocar once again took the lead in the 70th minute. Bikash Jairu and Douhou combined on the left before setting up Duffy inside the box on the right who fired in a grounder from close.
Three minutes later, Pune FC almost pulled level but attacker Eric Brown’s freekick from the right flank went into the sidenetting. A minute later, Pune FC did put the ball into the net. After Sueoka’s initial shot was saved substitute Lalramluaha Hmar bundled the ball into the goal in a melee inside the box but the referee pulled him up for a suspect hand ball denying Pune FC an equaliser.
Minutes later, Salgaocar increased their lead at the other end. Gurjinder capitalised on a defensive lapse to score from close range to make the score 3-1. Pune FC continued to press upfront but once again it was some poor decisions from the referee that saw a lot of hold ups in the game.
One such decision saw the referee incorrectly award a penalty kick to Salgaocar after substitute Dawson Fernandes barged and rolled over keeper Amrinder Singh who stayed rooted. However, the Pune FC custodian kept his calm to deny defender Francis Kasonde from the spot with a diving save to his right.
Into the final five minutes of the game, Pune FC continued to attack the rival goal through Eric, Sueoka and Arata, but the trio were denied by the opponent's backline. As the game entered injury time, Salgaocar kept on wasting time to wind down the clock and seal a 3-1 win.