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FC Pune City holds Goa

Table-topper FC Pune City rallied to hold FC Goa 1-1 and remained at the top in the Indian Super League (ISL) here on Friday.

FC Goa, which dominated the first half, took the lead in the 46th minute through an own goal by defender Roger Johnson. But the visitors fought back and restored parity through Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the 64th minute. After the end of the first leg, Pune has 13 points from seven matches and FC Goa 11.

FC Goa, despite hit by injuries, put up a dominant performance and made inroads with a steady flow of passes. Leo Moura and Jonathan Lucca controlled the midfield effectively and with Mandar Rao showing a lot of enterprise on the left, the home team made moves mostly from the left. The first opportunity came in the 10th minute when Moura beat the rival defence with a through pass.

Thongkoisep Haokip, along with Joaquim Abranches, beat the rival keeper Steven Simonsen with a low shot, but defender Roger Johnson made a goal-line save. The Goan side kept on attacking and Luciano Sobrosa once again beat the rival defence with a long pass to Abranches, but the latter squandered the chance.

Luck also did not favour the Goan side when Mandar Rao’s left-footed drive hit the cross bar in the 22nd minute.

The visitors, who had a great game against Kerala Blasters, were a subdued lot for most part of the first half — the only chance coming in the 10th minute when Nicholas Shorey’s flag kick was punched away to safety by home team keeper Elinton Andrade.

The Goans finally took the lead in the 46th minute. Romeo Fernandes, who received the ball on the right, sent a high cross into the box and rival defender Johnson, while trying to clear it, shot into his own goal.

Pune City had a chance to restore parity two minutes later but Kalu Uche hit the post. Looking for an equaliser, Pune City made two changes, bringing in Wesley Verhoek and Jackichand Singh in place of Tuncay Sanli and Bikash Jairu.

The move worked for the team as they showed promise on the right with Verhoek troubling the Goan defence with teasing crosses. During one such move, he floated the ball to an unmarked Lyngdoh, who headed the ball into the far corner for the equaliser.

THE RESULT: FC Goa 1 (Johnson 46-og) drew with FC Pune City 1 (Lyngdoh 64). — PTI

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