Pune hold Bagan, Dempo outplay Sporting Clube de Goa 4-1
Vasco (Goa), Jan 1 (IANS) Thirteen-time winners Mohun Bagan drew 1-1 with Pune FC while Dempo rode on a hattrick by star Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey to outclass Sporting Club De Goa 4-1 in Federation Cup football tournament group matches here Thursday.
Japanese attacking midfielder Ryuji Sueoka converted a second-half penalty for Pune to nullify an early lead taken by the Kolkata giants through Cameroonian striker Pierra Boya in a Group B tie at the Tilak Maidan.
The first half of the well-contested match was pacy with both sides knocking at each other's defences through the flanks.
Bagan utilised the central zone of the pitch better with mid-fielders Haitian Sony Norde and Japanese Katsumi Yusa alongside Boya creating a lot of opportunities.
They were rewarded for their attacks in the 26th minute when Boya followed Norde's cross from the left and headed past the Pune FC goalkeeper.
Pune, however, sprang into action in the 65th minute as Liberian midfielder Eric Brown's shot stuck Bagan defender Shovik Ghosh's hand and the referee pointed to the dreaded spot. Sueoka equalised with a cool and composed finish.
After two games each, Pune have surged to the top of the group with four points while Bagan languish at fourth, managing only two.
In the Group A contest later game, Ozbey scored two penalties either side of halftime and one as early as the 11th minute to fire a hattrick, while Romeo Fernandez netted the late fourth.
Beevan D'Mello found the target for Sporting.
At the 11th-minute mark, Mandar Rao Desai squared for Tolgay who swiveled to fire low and into the back of the net.
Nine minutes from the breather, Referee Fasil Salahudeen awarded Dempo a penalty after Francis was pulled down by Kofi inside the box while both were chasing the squared ball from Lenny Rodrigues.
Ozbey stepped up and notched up his double with a powerful strike that beat keeper Sandip Nandy though he guessed right.
Ozbey was again fouled in the box, to earn another spot kick which he converted with aplomb to bring up his hattrick - the first of the tournament so far - sending Nandy the wrong way to tuck home low into the bottom left corner.
Mello pulled one back for Sporting as he curled in a free kick from the edge of the box with Laxmikant Kattimani getting a faint touch to it but could not prevent it from going into the net.
Romeo put the icing on the cake towards the end of the match by latching onto substitute Alwyn George's pass to go solo and power it low into the back of the net.
Dempo now sit atop the group table with six points while Sporting are still to open their account.