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 Mumbai FC 1-1 Pune FC

22.03.2015 : MUMBAI FC -- 1-1 -- PUNE FC ( FT.)
MFC : Taisuke 4'
PFC : Y.Raju 77'
MFC : Nidhinlal, Chika, Justin, Ashutosh, Kuttymani, Taisuke, Rahul, Allan, Paresh, Dane, Abhishek.
PFC : Arup, Luciano, Mathew, Raju, Anas, Arata, Ganesh, Ishfaq, Prakash, Edgar, Darko

PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC were held to a 1-1 draw by ten-man Mumbai FC in the seasonís second Maha-Derby at the Cooperage Football Ground in Mumbai on Sunday.

The I-League Round 12 encounter had all the derby drama with an early goal, a red card, trademark time wasting tactics by the hosts and a late equaliser to make it an interesting game for hundred plus travelling Pune FC fans in the stands. Midfielder Taisuke Matsugae (4th minute) gave Mumbai FC the lead in the first half before defender Raju Yumnam (76th minute) pulled Pune FC level in the second. The hosts played an hour with ten men after defender Sampath Kuttymani was sent off at the half hour mark.

Having shared spoils, Pune FC took their tally to 16 points and dropped to the third place in the standings behind leaders Mohun Bagan (18 pts) and Bengaluru FC (17 pts). The result also meant Pune FC extended their unbeaten run to four games. Going into the game, Pune FC Coach Karim Bencherifa made three changes handing starts to Darko Nikac, Edgar Marcelino and Arup Debnath.

Having attacked in the opening minutes, Pune FC were dealt an early blow when Taisuke scored out of nowhere. With keeper Arup Debnath way off his line, the Japanese midfielder capitalised and pumped a direct freekick from around the halfline straight towards the goal. Arup ran behind but couldn't stop the ball as it ended up in the net. Despite conceding a freak goal, Pune FC settled down and began pushing up. A few attempts in the following ten minutes from the strike pair of Darko and Prakash Thorat didn't yield much, however Pune FC kept the pressure on.

The game had turned physical and the tackles were flying. One such moment around the half-hour mark saw Sampath Kuttymani kick Pune FC medio Dhanpal Ganesh on the flank. Referee Tejas Nagvenkar didn't hesitate much and pulled out a red card to send Kuttymani off. Having gone down to ten men, the hosts parked the bus with almost all players staying in their half defending deep. On the other hand, Pune FC pushed further up but were falling short in the final third.

In the 36th minute, Pune FC almost pulled level. Midfielder Arata Izumi cut in from the left flank and let fly a powerful shot from range. The attempt was somehow parried over by Nidhin Lal in the Mumbai FC goal to keep the score unchanged. Towards the end of the first half, Pune FC suffered another blow as striker Darko Nikac was stretchered off after suffering an injury and was replaced by Lalrempuia Fanai, Thereafter, Pune FC had a few more chances but went into the breather trailing 0-1.

At the start of the second half, striker Shoaib Syed replaced Prakash and immediately went close from distance, but his low effort was saved by the keeper. As the second half progressed, Mumbai FC began wasting more time by going and staying down on multiple occasions. Pune FC were stationed in the rival half for most of the time and in the 58th minute, Raju almost got the equaliser. The left back timed his run well to meet Edgarís cross in from the right but his effort on the slide went inches wide.

Despite the hosts putting all their players behind the ball, Pune FC's persistence finally paid off as they pulled level in the 76th minute. A looping header from Arata on the edge of the box fell for Raju inside the box on the left and the Manipuri slammed home a volley for the much needed equaliser. The goal gave Pune FC confidence as they mounted even more pressure on the opponents. However, despite their continuous efforts in the final quarter Pune FC were left wanting for more as attempts from Ishfaq Ahmed, Ganesh and Edgar went agonisingly wide in the final few minutes.

Pune FC had a couple of more chances in the injury time but Mumbai FC held on for a 1-1 draw.

FT: Scoreline 1-1.
87': CHANGE - MFC : Rafi in and Ashutosh out.
81': CHANGE - PFC : Munmun in and Raju out.
77': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 1-1. Raju scored off Arata's final pass.
65': Still 10 men Mumbai FC is leading 1-0.
59': CHANGE - MFC : Milagres in; Abhishek out.
53': CHANGE - MFC : Pradeep in and Dane out.
46' : CHANGE - PFC Shoaib in and Prakash out.
46': 2nd Half starts.
HT : Mumbai FC 1-0 Pune FC.
41': CHANGE - PFC : Lalrempuia in and Darko out.
38' : Yellow Card to Darko Nikac of Pune.
29': RED CARD : Sampath Kutty Mani of Mumbai FC who fouled Ganesh of Pune. Mumbai now down to 10 men.
20': Mumbai FC is leading 1-0.
10': Yellow Card to Dane Pereira of Mumbai FC.
4': GOALLLLL : Taisuke Matsugae scores for Mumbai FC frm a free kick.

PREVIEW - PFC PRESS RELEASE : Pune FC aim for Maha-Derby double over Mumbai FC

Pune FC return to action in the I-League aiming to clinch a derby-double when they face arch rivals Mumbai FC in a Round-12 encounter at the Cooperage Ground in Mumbai on Sunday.

Taking into account the intensity from all past encounters between second placed Pune FC (15 points) and sixth placed Mumbai FC (11 points), the game on the morrow definitely promises to be a thriller. Moreover, while Pune FC look for a double over the home side after winning the first leg 3-2, Mumbai FC too will be keen to log their first ever derby win at the Cooperage making it a must win game for either side.

Going into the game, Pune FC will be confident after a 1-0 win over Royal Wahingdoh FC in the previous round before the international break and will be hoping to build on their three match unbeaten run. Furthermore, with the Maha-Derby being played in Mumbai for the first time in five years, Pune FC can take motivation from the fact that the last time they played their arch rivals at the Cooperage, they emerged 2-1 winners in April 2010.

Nonetheless, Pune FC will be acclimatised to the conditions given the fact that they had a week-long camp in Mumbai during the recent break and also one during the preseason. "I have had a few really good games at the Cooperage in the past. The stadium now is better with a good playing surface and the crowd even closer. It will be an exciting Maha-Debrby and I am looking forward to it," said Coach Bencherifa after an evening training session at the Cooperage Ground.

On the team news front, Pune FC will be missing a host of players. While first choice keeper Amrinder Singh, midfielder Nikhil Kadam and striker Thongkhosiem Haokip are at the Under-23 National Camp in Goa, winger Anthony DíSouza misses out after suffering an ankle injury on senior national duty and will be joined on the sidelines by playmaker Ryuji Sueoka.

However, Pune FC have been boosted by the return of midifielder Edgar Marcelino and strike Darko Nikac. The duo missed out on the last few games due to injuries and will bolster the Pune FC attack ahead of the Maha-Derby. While Darko will lead the frontline in the absence of top-scorer Haokip, keeper Arup Debnath will be in line to make his first appearance of the season.

On the other hand, Mumbai FC come into the game on the back of a four-match unbeaten run. Furthermore, the hosts will be banking on their unbeaten home record this season having won and drawn two games each in four games at the Cooperage. Speaking about the hosts, Coach Bencherifa further added, "Mumbai FC plays with a style as per their strength and they really get the best out of it. That's why it is not an easy team to play against."

The overseas duo of midfielder Taisuke Matsugae and defender Chika Wali will form the nucleus of the team. The likes of Ashutosh Mehta, Mohammed Rafi and Abhishek Yadav and Justin Stephen will add experience to the team. Brazilian striker Josimar Martins will be serving a one game suspension for receiving four yellow cards.

Over the years, both sides have faced off twelve times in all competitions with Pune FC leading the head-to-head record with five wins compared to Mumbai FCís three. Moreover, Pune FC also lead the record in Mumbai FC home games with two wins compared to one and will be keen to improve the record even further.