Shillong Lajong FC 2 (Edinho Junior 13th, 56th minute)
Pune FC 2 (Boima Karpeh 51st, 59th)
PUNE: Pune FC wasted a chance to go to No. 3 position on the I-League standings when they drew the home match 2-2 against Shillong Lajong FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex Stadium here on Sunday (March 24). The visitors, on the other hand, may consider themselves unlucky as they put on a spirited show, took lead twice but ended up sharing points with the Pune-based outfit.
Shillong Lajong rode on Portuguese Edinho Junior’s brilliance to take early lead leaving the home team to catch up all through the match.
The draw meant Pune FC will stay at No. 5 position with 34 points, on same points as Prayag United. Pune FC, however, have two matches in hand. Lajong, with 20 points, will remain at No. 11 still hovering near the relegation zone.
Striker Edinho, who is on loan from English Second Division side Blackburn Rovers, opened the scoring in the 13th minute. This made the situation difficult for Pune FC as they failed to find an equalizer all through the first half.
Pune FC coach substituted Douhou Pierre only a minute into the second half and that changed the complexion of the game as substitute Boima Karpeh began muscling his way up front. The Liberia-born Australian, Karpeh found the equalizer for Pune FC in the 51st minute.
But it was Lajong who again went into the lead thanks to a defensive mistake and Edinho was on the spot in front of the goal to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute.
Pune FC went all out to secure points from the home game as Moga fed several balls to Karpeh. Three minutes after Edinho’s goal, Karpeh’s brilliance saw Pune FC equalize again when defender Othalo Tabia gave a neat pass from the right.
Both the teams tried to find that elusive winner, but it was not to be. Jeje Lalpekhlua and Moga had a chance in the 90th minute and even Karpeh came close to scoring a hat-trick, but he tripped in front of the goal when two defenders challenged him.