Pune FC sweep aside Prayag, climb to third spot
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Pune FC continued their impressive run in the I-League, notching up another win over Kolkata side Prayag United SC at the Balewadi Sports Complex. The 3-1 scoreline did justice to Pune FC's dominating style of play.
South Sudan striker James Moga opened the scoring before Othallo Tabia got his name on the scoresheet for the city club. Moga completed his brace in the second half. CK Vineeth scored the consolation goal for Prayag United SC. With this win, Pune FC move up to third in the I-League table with 23 points.
The two sides pushed each other in the beginning, as they tried to stamp their mark on the game. Moga rippled the net in the 8th minute after evading an Anupam Sarkar challenge and took Gouramangi Moirangthem as well as Subrata Paul by surprise as he pulled the trigger and watched the ball curl in at the near post.
This led to a period of domination for the hosts, and they swiftly doubled their lead in the 17th minute, when Chika Wali found Othallo Tabia with a cross, and the right-back's looping header left Paul helplessly stranded.
Ranti Martins then almost got to the end of a cross by Malsawm Tlunga Shylo, but Pune FC keeper Abhra Mondal intervened to clear the danger. Soon after, Martins had another opportunity, but this time he failed to direct his header to the goal. A free-kick floated in by Lalkamal Bhowmick then almost did halve the lead, as Mondal misread the flight of the ball. To the keeper's relief the ball sailed over the net and avoided causing the custodian any embarrassment.
Pune FC were well in their stride by the half hour mark, completely dominating the opposition. Moga however spurned a glorious chance to score the third of the night, when he side-footed wide from an Izumi Arata cross, with the goal at his mercy.