U18 I-League – Final Phase: Unlucky Pune FC held to a goalless draw by Aizawl FC

Kolkata: Pune FC were unlucky to be held to a goalless draw by Aizawl FC in an Under-18 I-League 2015-16, Group-B, Round-2 encounter at the East Bengal Ground in Kolkata on Sunday.

Having dominated the entire game, Pune FC fell short of converting the numerous chances that fell their way in both halves and ended up sharing spoils. With one point from two games, Pune FC moved to fourth position while Aizawl FC (5 pts) moved up to second in a five-team group.

It was Pune FC who began the game aggressively and pushed up from the very beginning. Striker Lalawmpuia was the first to go close when his effort from the top of the box whizzed above the crossbar in the 17th minute.

Eight minutes later it was winger Chesterpaul Lyngdoh who almost broke the deadlock but his looping header off Sebastian Thangmuansang’s cross came off the crossbar.

Pune FC kept on pushing forward and had two more close chances, but the strike pair of Lalawmpuia and Ashique Kuruniyan were both denied by the Aizawl FC custodian as first half ended goalless.

The second half was a similar story to the first as Pune FC continued to dominate proceedings. However, once again it was the lack of finishing that let them down.

Having created numerous half chances, Pune FC went extremely close on two occasions midway through the second half. First it was winger Sannik Murmu whose attempt was close range was denied by the keeper after being set up by Ashique in the 63rd minute.

Then the rival custodian followed it up with another save four minutes later, this time to block left-back Dimple Bhagat who smashed a powerful low drive on a freekick eight yards outside the box.

In the final quarter, both sides engaged in an end-to-end battle but couldn’t break the deadlock as the game ended goalless.

Pune FC now face Royal Wahingdoh in a must win game on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2016.

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