36th Federation Cup: Pune FC crash out as Salgoacar make the semis
VASCO: Salgaocar FC stretched their good form to the second match running as they trounced Pune FC 3-1 to qualify for the semifinals in a virtual knockout Group B match of the Hero Federation Cup here at the Tilak Maidan on Wednesday (January 7, 2014).
Salgaocar will now take on Dempo in a rematch of the 2012 Federation Cup semifinal where Dempo got the better of their local rivals. The match is at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda at 4 PM IST on January 9.
The four-time Federation Cup champions took the lead through Douhou Pierre before former Salgaocar man Ryuji Sueoka pulled level in the second half. But Derrick Pereira’s wards had enough in them to go ahead once again through Scottish Darryl Duffy and then add on to the advantage courtesy Gurjinder Kumar.
Salgaocar could have piled more misery on their counterparts had stopper-back Francis Kasonde not missed a penalty.
For Pune FC Nikhil Kadam hit the frame in the first half.
The win helped the Goan team finish on nine points from four matches while Pune FC remained on four from the same number of outings. The other semifinal is between Bengaluru FC and Sporting Clube de Goa at 7 PM IST.
Pune FC made three changes to their side while Salgaocar had only one. The sides know eachother all too well with as many as four players switching allegiance apart from the coaches in the last two years.
While Othallo Tabia and Douhou Pierre joined Salgaocar from Pune, Luciano Sobrosa who captained Salgaocar and Anthony D’Souza moved to Goa from Pune.
Interestingly, their only clash came in the 2012 edition of the competition was when Karim Bencherifa-led Salgaocar beat Derrick -led Pune FC 2-1 in Jamshedpur.
Moreover, it was Douhou who scored for Pune FC, while Luciano Sabrosa and Anthony D’Souza netted for Salgaocar.
On the pitch though there was let up in intensity as both sides, staying true to the magnitude of the tie, went for the jugular. A draw would have sufficed for the green shirts while Pune had to win to make the cut.
Izumi Arata and Eric Brown combined as early as the first minute to set up Shemboi Haokip on the right but the tall India U-22 striker strayed offside.
Nikhil Kadam was next to come close brushing aside Subrata Paul from close but veteran India goalkeeper had enough on the ball to see off the danger.
At the other end, Thangjam Singh lofted in two good freekicks from 25 yards with the former take forcing Pune keeper Amrinder Singh into a low save from Gilbert Oiliviera.
Haokip and Eric Brown had chances for Pune FC before the biggest chance of the half fell to the Red Lizards before the deadlock was broken.
On the counter, Anthony picked out Haokip on the left who in turn found Nikhil outside the box. The 23-year old wide midfielder made space for himself before taking a swipe at goal with the ball coming off the woodwork.
Soon after, Salgaocar made amends for their miss one minute ago. After Gilbert’s poor touch let him down after being fed by Duffy inside the area, the Scottish striker was in the thick of things again pulling back for an overlapping Gurjinder whose cross was headed in by Douhou from close bringing up the Ivorian’s fourth goal in the tournament. He is now the joint top-scorer with Sunil Chhetri and Romeo Fernandes.
Anthony held on to the ball on the left for sometime before sending in a teasing cross for Sueoka who controlled it first time to drive home off a deflection.
Pune FC were right back in the game and could sniff their first shot at the last-four stages of the Federation Cup. Anthony once again found Sueoka in the clear but Paul was at hand to palm it away.
Ten minutes from the equaliser, Salgaocar took the lead again. Duffy was finally rewarded for all his hard work when Jairu found Douhou on the left who relayed it to Duffy for the 30-year old to rifle the ball into the back of the net from inside the box.
Pune thought they had pegged back again when the ball bundled in off a melee but referee Pranjal Banerjee disallowed the goal owing to substitute Lal Ramluaha handling the ball as it went in.
Two minutes later, the 2011 Fed Cup winners pulled away with Gurjinder netting his second goal of the tourney.
Amrinder saved his side further blushes with an acrobatic penalty save from Kasonde diving low to his right six minutes from the final whistle. There was late drama with Gurjinder clearing off the goal-line from Sueoka’s low drive which squirmed under Paul.
January 9: Dempo SC v Salgaocar FC (4 PM IST)
January 9: Bengaluru FC v Sporting clube de Goa (7 PM IST)