INDIAN FOOTBALL : I-LEAGUE 2014-15 REPORT

I-LEAGUE 2014-15 :Pune FC drew 2-2 with Bharat FC

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Pune FC 2-2 Bharat FC

04.04.2015 : PUNE FC -- 1-1 -- BHARAT FC (FT)
PFC : Amrinder, Luciano, Gonsalves, Raju, Nikac, Marcelino, Sueoka, Anas, Ganesh, Lalrempuia, Haokip
BFC : Arindam, Mehraj, Gouramangi, Ravanan, Omar, Nabi, Bobby, Lester, Romuald, Rajinder, Kris

Pune FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Bharat FC in the first-ever Pune Derby at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Saturday. The I-League Round-14 encounter lived up to expectations as the majority Pune FC fans were entertained throughout the 90-minutes with some end to end action.

Midfielder Lalrempuia Fanai gave Pune FC the perfect start with a goal in the 4th minute before striker Kris Bright pulled Bharat FC level in the 31st minute. Both sides also played the last few minutes with ten-men after Bharat FC’s Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Pune FC's Dhanpal Ganesh were sent off by referee A. Rowan.

Going into the game, Pune FC Coach Karim Bencherifa made five changes handing starts to Thongkhosiem Haokip, Darko Nikac, Ryuji Sueoka, Lalrempuia Fanai and Amrinder Singh. The derby began in an interesting fashion when Pune FC went on the offensive right from the opening minute of the game. While Bharat FC were unable to counter Pune FC’s blistering pace, they did manage to hold back the resistance successfully and attack on the counter.

However that was short lasted. A breakaway move in the 4th minute saw Ryuji Sueoka take the ball and make a run with it down the middle. He in turn passed it to Fanai Lalrempuia who made no mistake slotting the ball in past the Bharat FC custodian Arindam Bhattacharya with a first-time effort for his first-ever I-League goal.

The pace of the game didn't slow down after the goal as both sides kept on creating attacks. A few challenges too flew and in the 8th minute Mathew Gonsalves was shown a yellow card for a tackle on Syed Rahim Nabi. Post that the visitors had a brief spell where they tried to make inroads into the Pune FC defence to no avail. Ten minutes later in the 18th minute a nasty tackle saw Edgar Marcelino go down which in turn saw the first substitution of the game. Lalramluaha Hmar came in for the injured Edgar and the pace of the game got a shot in the arm.

While Pune FC attacked repeatedly down the flanks and the centre thereafter, Bharat FC were content to attacking on the counter. Thongkhosiem Haokip made some brilliant runs down the centre only to be denied by the Bharat FC defence. On the other hand attacks from Bharat FC's forward line were thwarted by Pune FC’s defensive duo of Anas Edathodika and Luciano Sabrosa.

While dominating the proceedings, a defensive lapse from Pune FC allowed the visitors back into the game around the half hour mark. Having failed to clear the ball on the left side, Lester Fernandez crossed in for a waiting Kris Bright, whose powerful header beat Amrinder Singh and saw Bharat FC go level in the 31st minute. Either side had a couple of chances in the final few minutes of the half but the half ended 1-1.

The second half began right from where the two teams left in the first. Pune FC continued to dominate attacks for a brief period of the opening minutes of the second half. However, the guests too settled in and had a few close chances. In the 54th minute a shot by Romuald Boco saw the ball whiz just wide past of Amrinder. Three minutes later Haokip almost pulled off a stunning goal when he controlled the ball just outside the box on the left but the final shot was just inches away from the far post.

Thereafter, once again both sides traded punches on the opposite defences. If Bright's 61st minute effort went just wide off the goal for Bharat FC then Pune FC's attempts through Sueoka, Haokip, Darko and Lalramluaha were thwarted by the Bharat FC custodian. Pune FC nearly came close once again to scoring the elusive second goal in the 72nd minute, when Sueoka fed a ball down the right to Lalramluaha who had a clear run with only the Bharat FC custodian to beat. But he was unable to do so with the onrushing Arindam blocking the attempt.

Like all derbies which begin slowly, the lengthening shadows of the game and the clock ticking down gives rise to flaring of tempers on the field. And that is what happened in the 79th minute. Mehrajuddin Wadoo bought down Raju Yumnam down the left and was given a yellow card and four minutes later he was shown a second yellow and a subsequent red card for once again bringing down substitute Nikhil Kadam.

While it looked like Pune FC would play the man advantage, the 88th minute saw the referee show Dhanpal Ganesh a straight red after some off the ball challenge. The move was booed by the majority Pune FC fans who deemed the decision a little harsh. Despite that, Nikhil combined with Darko a minute later for a chance to score a goal but were both unsuccessful.

Three minutes of injury time followed where Pune FC desperately hunted for the goal but were unable to breach custodian Arindam Bhattacharya's goal as the first ever Pune Derby ended one-goal-a-piece.

FULL TIME: Score remains 1-1 in the first ever Pune Derby
90':3 minutes of added time
89':Players Change in Bharat FC: Tapan Maity in place of Lester
85':RED CARD: to Dhanpal Ganesh for his tackle to Lester
83':RED CARD: to Mehraj for his another yellow card. bad tackle to Nikhil
80':Yellow Card to Mehraj for his bad tackle to Raju
78':Players Change in Pune FC: Nikhil in place of Sueoka
74':Luciano's cross, straight to Arindam
64':Players Change in Pune FC: Ralte in place of Matthew
62':Boco's shot, went over the bar
61':Kris Bright's long ranger, went wide
60':After 60 minutes of play, score remains same
55':Players Change in Bharat FC: Surojit in place of Rajinder
51':Rajinder's cross, cleared in defence
46':Second half resumed
HALF TIME: Score remains 1-1 in the half time
44': Boco's shot, went wide
31':GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Kris Bright header from a brilliant cross, finds the net.
30':Lalramluaha's cross, went wide
28':Boby's free kick, cleared in defence, before Sueoka committed a foul against Nabi
26':Brilliant through pass but Haokip is in offside position
25':After 25 minutes of play, score remains still same.
19': Players Change in Pune FC: Lalramluaha in place of injured Edgar
18':Edgar looks injured, match stopped
17':Ball cleared from corner
16':Sueoka'a pass, Nikac's shot, deflected and a corner to Pune FC
13':Brillant shot of Nabi and a fine save by Amrindar
12':Nabi's cross, cleared in defence
9':Ball cleared from corner.
9':Short goalkick by Amrinder, fine clearance by Anas. Corner to Bharat FC
8':Yellow Card: to Mathew for his bad tackle Nabi. Free kick to Bharat FC
4':GOALLLLLLLLLLLL Brilliant counter attack and a fine goal by Lalrempuia
0':Kick off
0': 7.00 pm Kick off

PREVIEW - PFC PRESS RELEASE : Hosts Pune FC have planned a score of events to make the first-ever Pune Derby a memorable occasion for all the fans in attendance.

To begin with, Pune FC's special guests for the day will be the star cast of upcoming Marathi Feature film 'Kaakan'. The lead duo of Jitendra Joshi and Urmila Adinath Kothare will be joined by director Kranti Redkar along with producer Hridaya Banerjee to make the moment a memorable one.

What's more? The child artists of the film Aakash Banerjee and Ashutosh Gaikwad, will be on hand to engage themselves with eight lucky local fans in a small sided game at half time. Ahead of the big match, Blitzkrieg Riders Club, an exclusive bike group comprising of over 100 riders, will ride in with a few Pune FC players in what is being called a ‘Pune Derby Ride’. The ride will start from Symbiosis College and go through various locations before arriving at the Balewadi Stadium. That's not all! The entire team of Pune's Pro Kabaddi League side Puneri Paltans will be on hand to support and cheer their newest synergising partners – Pune FC – on this landmark day in the history of Pune football. The Pune FC-Puneri Paltan tie-up is significant to create the synergy between sports and ensure impetus is given to sport and derive combined success.

Adding up to the Pune FC's football fan-based family present at the stadium, will be a clutch of teams that participate in the elite Kothrud Premier League played at the amateur level. The league which is based in the west of Pune boasts 40 teams across four divisions.

Summing up, will be special performances from students of Chinchwad-based Global Indian International School and Vimannagar-based Learning Curve School. Last but not the least, Pune FC has also tied up with Get-A-Game, a Pune-based multi-sport venue booking portal as an outreach partner. The tie-up will give fans a host of deals on Pune FC promotions.

Known as the 'Pune Derby', the first ever I-League clash between Pune FC and Bharat FC is scheduled to be played at the Balewadi Stadium on April 4th at 7.00 PM.