Pune edge past Dempo

Football: Federation Cup: Salgaocar scrape past JCT; Viva Kerala hold fancied East Bengal


Dempo took the lead through Clifford Miranda in the 75th minute. Bt the Pune side struck twice soon after with Arata Izumi in the 77th and Edmar Figueira, 10-minute later, finding the target in a closely-contested Group D match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The Goan side, considered one of the favourites to win the country’s premier league-cum-knock-out tournament, will now play Shillong Lajong on Thursday and Air India on Sunday.

Both sides started on an even keel and it was Pune FC who had the first real chance but a shot by Jeje Lalpeklua, the India under-23 striker, was deflected by a Dempo defender for a corner in the 12th minute.

Pune nearly conceded the lead in the 32nd minute but for Godwin Franco’s goal-line save of a header by Peter Carvalho, who came in for Roberto Mendis.After the barren first half, Dempo were the more attacking side while Pune FC relied mainly on counter attacks.

The last 15 minutes saw three goals with Dempo drawing the first blood in the 75th minute through Clifford Miranda who chested down a Valeriano Rebello cross from the right and tapped the ball home past a diving Subrata Paul.

It took just two minutes more for Pune FC to restore parity, with their Japanese import Arata firing in a powerful shot from 25 yards into the Dempo goal.

Dempo conceded the winner three minutes from time in the most uncharacteristic fashion following a mix up in their defence.

A cross from the right caused havoc in the Dempo box as central defender Anwar Ali tried to clear it with a header, but goalkepeer Tyson Caiado came from behind to collect the ball.

The goalkeeper spilled the ball which ricocheted off Anwar’s back and the loose ball is poked home by an onrushing Edmar. In another Group D match, Lajong FC and Air India played out a thrilling 2-2 draw.

I League newcomers, Lajong opened the scoring through Tuboi Singh in the fifth minute. But Air India, drew level in the 41st minute, through a freekick from captain Khelemba Singh.

One minute into the second half Lajong went ahead again this time through a penalty, which was dispatched into the back of the net by Daniel Bedemi. Air India equalised for the second time through Kailash Patil in the 53rd minute to give the airmen a share of the spoils.

 At Silchar, In a Group A match, East Bengal were held to a goalless draw by Viva Kerala. Salgaocar SC scored a narrow 1-0 win over JCT in another Group A match in Silcahr. Mandjou Keita headed in the winner in the 14th minute after a free kick from Manjit Singh.

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