United SC 1 (Baldeep 71)
Pune FC 0
AIFF Media Team
COCHIN: A second half strike from Baldeep Singh saw United SC beat Pune FC 1-0 in a Group A encounter of the 35th Federation Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday evening.
It was a must-win game for both sides but in the end the Kolkata side triumphed to remain but at the end of the day all their efforts came to nothing as Churchill Brothers booked a place in the semifinals.
The first half saw very little goalmouth action as neither side created too many openings. Both teams looked to build from the back and keep the ball in midfield so neither goalkeeper was seriously tasted.
Pune had a couple of half chances with Arata Izumi going close once after some nice interplay with Anthony D’Souza. United SC’s best chance of the half fell to Dhananchandra Singh who couldn’t hit the target despite getting a free header from an Eric Brown cross.
Mike Snoei replaced James Meyer with Gabriel Fernandes at the interval but that substitution didn’t really change Pune’s fortunes as they struggled to create chances from open play. At the other end, Pune keeper Amrinder Singh’s punching clearance fell kindly to Lalkamal Bhowmick but he skied his effort off target.
United SC then suffered a blow as Ranti Martins went off with an injury and was replaced by Baldeep Singh. The Kolkata club’s misery could have been compounded had Riga Mustapha scored after being left unmarked from a Calum Angus corner but the former EPL player missed the target.
The deadlock was finally broken by United SC when Eric Brown went past Othallo Tabia on the left and found Baldeep in the area and the substitute scored past Amrinder. Minutes later, United SC’s lead could have been doubled but Amrinder did brilliantly to stop Brown’s effort.
Pune FC saw a lot of the ball in the closing stages but United SC keeper Jayanta Paul only had to make routine saves. The Red Lizards eventually finished the game with ten as Mustapha went off injured.
Posted on : Friday January 17, 2014