Pune rally past Lajong

Dempo down East Bengal

Pune FC rallied from a goal down to beat Shillong Lajong 3-1 and open their Hero Federation Cup football tournament campaign on a winning note at Tilak Stadium here on Monday.

Shillong Lajong surged ahead in the 16th minute through Lalrammuana when he ran through the rival defence and beat the advancing keeper before slotting the ball into the net in the Group B match.

Down by a goal, Karim Bencherifa’s Pune side regrouped and made attacking moves with Eric Brown, Zodhmingliana Ralte and Arata Izumi coming close to scoring until Anthony D’Souza uncorked a low drive to beat the keeper to his left a few minute before the break. Both the teams went into half time on even note.

The second half saw the red lizards dominating with Arata, Sueoka and Brown combining well as they kept up the pressure and took the lead in the 66th minute.

Eric Brown sent a through ball on the left and Anthony D’Souza took the shot which rival keeper Bhutia made a save only to see the ball go to lurking Arata who fired home from close range in the 66th minute

Eric Brown then ensured that his team collect full points as he picked up the ball and ran into the rival box before taking a rasping shot to find the net.

In the second game of the day, a Romeo Fernandes first-half header helped local giants Dempo Sports Club down lacklustre East Bengal by a solitary goal.

Romeo made a most of a delightful lofted through ball from Tolgay Ozbey five minutes to halftime to nod home effortlessly with no one marking him. It could have been 2-0 for the Golden Eagles had Tolgay not spurned an easy opportunity with goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury out of his box.

BFC face Bagan test
A confident Bengaluru FC will be looking to score their second win as they face Mohun Bagan in a Group B league match  on Tuesday.

Bengaluru FC put in the hard yards in their opener against Salgaocar when they came out 3-2 winners courtesy Sunil Chhetri's double strikes and a Sean Rooney goal. Bengaluru FC share a sort of history with Bagan as the Kolkata side were their opponents in the Blues' first-ever competitive game.

Meanwhile, Bagan have done a fair bit of a rejig to their squad over the summer, shoring the attack with the signings of Cameroon international Pierre Boya, Haitian Sony Norde, Balwant Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua.

The Mariners have even roped in defenders Bello Razaq, Anwar Ali and Dhanchandra Singh apart from bringing in young midfielder Souvik Chakraborty from United SC.

The I-League champions have no injury concerns and the clash could also prove to be a testing ground for a team that is looking to defend its I-League crown when the season begins on January 17.

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