Mumbai: Pune FC maintained their top spot in the standings with a dominant 4-0 win over Kenkre FC in an Under-18 I-League Maharashtra Zone Round-6 encounter at the Cooperage Football Ground in Mumbai on Saturday.
A brace from striker Lalawmpuia (44th & 51st minute) along goals from attacker Chesterpaul Lyngdoh (34th) and substitute Amos Lalnienga (76th) handed Pune FC their fifth win of the campaign. Moreover, with this win Pune FC (16 pts, GD+33) maintained their top position ahead of second placed DSK Shivajians (16 pts, GD +29) in the Maharashtra Zone.
Going into the game, Pune FC Coach Naushad Moosa made three changes handing starts to Rajat Kumar, Md. Yasir and Omega Vanlalhruaitluanga.
The first half saw Pune FC completely dominate proceedings with a number of attacks in the opening quarter. In fact, wingers Sannik Murmu, Omega and striker Chesterpaul were all denied by the same vertical post on the left as hosts Kenkre managed to hold on.
Having missed a host of chances till the half hour mark, Pune FC finally broke the deadlock in the 34th minute after some good team work. Skipper Dimple Bhagat switched play from left-to-right while pushing forward finding winger Sannik Murmu on the flank. Sannik cut back to Chesterpaul inside the box and the diminutive forward delayed his shot to avoid multiple slides before finally smashing home.
Having scored, Pune FC increased their pressure and attacked the rival goal ferociously going close on a few occasions. Ten minutes later, Pune FC’s pressure yielded another goal when Lalawmpuia got on the scoresheet. In an identical move to the first goal, Dimple switched play from left-to-right to find Sannik who in turn found defender Sebastian Thangmuansang clear outside the box on the right. He curled in a perfect ball which was headed home by Lalawmpuia to give Pune FC a two goal cushion going into the breather.
At the start of the second half, Coach Naushad Moosa brought in striker Amos Lalnienga to replace Omega.
The move paid off as he created Pune FC’s third six minutes after restart. Amos dispossessed an opponent before sending Lalawmpuia through who managed to hold off a couple of challenges before netting his second from close.
Pune FC continued to dominate the proceedings but had to wait till the 76th minute to get their fourth. Chesterpaul with a brilliant run on the right got past his marker and chipped across the goal to Amos who headed in at the far post.
Visitors Pune FC created a few more chances towards the end but Kenkre managed to hold on as the game ended 4-0.