Pune end ONGC's fairytale run
Pune FC ended ONGC’s fairytale run at home by edging past them courtesy a James Moga first-half goal in an I-League clash here at the Ambedkar Stadium on Sunday.
This is ONGC’s first loss in their own den since Santosh Kashyap took over the reins in November last year. While ONGC dropped to ninth position with 30 points from 24 matches, Pune FC reclaimed third with 40 points from 22 outings.†
The South Sudanese striker Moga volleyed home in added time of the first half after being fed by Douhou Pierre, who cut past two defenders to thread the pass. The visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first minute itself but Eric Brown saved the hosts the blushes with his goalline clearance off a James Moga effort.
Pune FC had the better of exchanges from then on with Izumi Arata playing the role of a schemer to perfection. The India international was all around the park, creating goalmouth chances aplenty for Moga and Pierre. One such move saw Pierre in the clear but his shot sailed over the bar.
ONGC were uncharacteristically off colour at home where they had not lost since last November (against Air India 2-4). Their key player Japanese playmaker Yusa Katsumi failed to find his feet and his colleagues up-front lacked purpose too.
Pereira’s wards started the second half like their first. Pierre’s effort was palmed away by ONGC custodian Rehenesh TP only as far as the horizontal.
East Bengal hold Sporting
In Kolkata, East Bengal’s I-League hopes virtually went up in smoke after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Clube de Goa at the Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan.
East Bengal were wasteful to start with as the Goans drew the first blood when Juanfri Pena struck in the 43rd minute.
Cornered, the home outfit found the equaliser through Edeh Chidi who struck in the 62nd minute.