Pune Fc v/c East Bangal

Pune Fc v/c East Bangal

PUNE 3rd Oct. 2009 : Pune football club showing fantastic performance in the opening match of ONGC I-league (1st Division) against Kingfisher East Bangal club here today, missed the first win. But the hearts of the more than 10,000 spectators are stolen by the PUNE FC’s players. Despite of their debutant match in the 1st division and opponent teams’ striker is Baichung Bhutia(Indian Football Team Captain), PUNE FC players shown better performance than Bangal teams’

Pune Football Club played confidently towards the middle as Chika Wali, Edmar Figueira and Izumi Arata raised the tempo with some amazing runs against the three-time champions, Kingfisher East Bengal.
The ONGC I-League opening match between the debutants Pune FC and Kingfisher East Bengal ended in a goalless draw, but there were at least three occasions when it seemed that the local team had the seasoned Kolkata outfit in a bind.

Wali worked relentlessly feeding Brazilian Edmar and Arata, but the East Bengal defence led by their captain Syed Rahim Nabi kept a tight leash on the onrushing strikers.
Nonetheless, it was a promising start for Pune FC in their opening league match at home with an impressive crowd of 8000 plus cheering on the team.
Half-an-hour into the first half, the retreating monsoon poured heavily to the surprise of everyone around as the city hadn’t witnessed rain for more than a fortnight. It became very heavy towards the end of the first half, but the ground held well and the ball kept going despite soaking.

PUNE FC

PUNE FC

The presence of Bhaichung Bhutia helped in a way to attract crowd, but on the field, the Indian skipper kept a low profile.
East Bengal fielded him as an inspiration for his teammates as Bhutia has been recovering from hamstring injury and he did not take much of the chances that came his way.
East Bengal earned quite a few corner kicks, but they could pose no real threat to Pune FC and India goalkeeper Subrata Paul was hardly tested throughout the match.
On the contrary, East Bengal goalkeeper Abhra Mondal was pushed to some extent when the combination of Edmar and Arata pushed upfront.
The match belonged to Pune FC no doubt and East Bengal would be happy to have escaped with a draw and one point.
Pune FC’s Sergey Tokov worked in the mid-field persistently and in one such moment, 80th minute to be precise, the Czech created a golden chance that will be remembered by Pune FC coach for a long time.
Tokov moved with the ball before clearing it for his captain S Venkatesh in the right flank, who fed Edmar a neat one in the middle.
An onrushing Arata was well within range for Edmar to set him up, but Arata’s booming shot hit the crosspiece as the East Bengal ‘keeper Mondal dived in vain before sprawling under the bar.
Five minutes later, Arata was in the clear and he went for a curling shot that just kissed the bar before flying over it.
“It was a good start, but we could have won the match. I am happy nonetheless,” Pune FC coach Derrick Perera said after the match.