Under-par Pune FC escape with a point
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Pune FC were lucky to come away with a point in their match against United Sikkim SC. Pune FC who scored within 10 seconds of the kick-off soon found themselves in a quandary as a spirited United Sikkim slammed two goals in quick succession. It was only due to South Sudanese striker James Moga's heroics that PFC managed to come away from this game with something to show for.
PFC coach Derrick Perreira minced no words during a post-match interaction and said that this was his team's worst performance this season. "We were just not in the game. The attitude was bad. We were complacent and the way we let United Sikkim back in the game was just unacceptable," he said.
Perreira's team had the best possible start to the match as Moga towered over the United Sikkim defenders to plant his header into the goal off a delightful Gurjinder Kumar cross. However, after that PFC startlingly seemed to have lost all their attacking endeavour. Routine passes were misplaced and there was no urgency to win the ball back.
United Sikkim pulled one back through striker DG Attivi, the tall striker put his foot through the ball and his 30 yard screamer swerved violently away from PFC custodian Shahinlal Meloly and into the net to restore parity. PFC looked shell-shocked by the goal and their lackluster response to the goal was made to pay as United Sikkim soon took the lead.
Safar Sardar collected a ball from captain Anwar Ali in a swift counter-attacking move and took a few steps towards goal before unleashing a rasping shot which whistled past Meloly's outstretched arms and into the net. United Sikkim very nearly got a third as the impressive Attivi uncorked another screamer from 35 yards out which thudded against the cross-bar.