Mohun Bagan and Pune FC involved in entertaining 1-1 draw
Mohun Bagan dished out an exciting 1-1 draw with Pune FC in the second match of their Federation Cup campaign. A tightly contested fixture which witnessed goals in either half, saw both Mohun Bagan and Pune FC stretched to their level best. Mohun Bagan, dominated the first half, but failed to score more than one goal, and this proved to be a catalyst for Pune FC's resurgence in the second half.
The 7,000 strong seater Tilak Maidan in Vasco bore witness to the varied talents and skills of both teams. Against all expectations, Mohun Bagan surprisingly dominated the first half of the tie. Their quick one-touch short passing was easy on the eye, easily kept Pune FC at bay and proved to be a major worry for the Karim Bencherifa masterminded team.
Bagan dominated the first half
Mohun Bagan, played with utmost delight and dominated play all around. Keeping possession, the team from West Bengal began to lure Pune FC's players out of position and often took advantage of the ensuing situation. Sonny Norde, Mohun Bagan's new recruit pulled the strings from midfield and often proved to be the key to their attack.
After attacking relentlessly for some time, Mohun Bagan finally found the net and had something to show for their heroics in the 26th minute. Pierre Boya used his imposing tall frame, outjumped Pune FC's defenders and connected with a sublime header to hand Mohun Bagan the lead.
The fact that they had 63% possession and 11 shots on goal perfectly explained their domination. At half time, the score read 1-0 - a correct, but inefficient representation of how good Bagan had been.
Pune FC fight back in the second half
With the likes of Arata Izumi and Brown subdued by Mohun Bagan in the first half, a resilient Pune FC started to play their style of football in the second half. Although Pune FC started to resist Mohun Bagan's domination, it was still clear Bagan were playing with more determination and threatening Pune FC's defense, every now and then. Playing on the break, they displayed their varied skills and Pierre Boya, missed two chances around the 50th-minute mark to extend the lead.
Slowly and gradually, Pune FC got into the tie and started to match Mohun Bagan blow for blow. Pune’s new-found purpose saw them get a penalty against the run of play in the 64th minute as Shouvik Ghosh handed the ball. Ryuji Sueoka converted it coolly and brought the Red Lizards back into the match. Two minutes later, they missed a golden opportunity to take the lead as captain Arata Izumi scooped the ball off target.
Mohun Bagan's attack surprisingly started to flutter in the final third and this aided Pune, who were now playing with confidence. With both teams canceling out each other's efforts, this heated end-to-end encounter, which was a tale of two halves, ended with both teams sharing the spoils of battle.