Pune and Dempo go in for a goalless deadlock

I league

The I- League 6th round featured the league toppers Pune FC taking on the visitors Dempo SC at the Shiv Chhattrapati Balewadi Sports complex, Pune for an evening game under flood lights.

The hosts Pune were coming into this encounter looking to redeem their loss to Mohun Bagan while Dempo approaching it to garner a win are one of the two undefeated sides so far this season.

Both the gaffers, Karim Bencherifa for Pune and Arthur Papas for Dempo made three changes to their starting 11 for the game.

15 minutes into kick off, Dempo were commanding the proceeding with Tolgay Ozbey appearing lethal having created as many as 4 chances. The first of the series came in on the 5th minute when Pune gave away the ball at the fringe of the box, Ozbey fired for the goal only to find keeper Amrinder’s hands who failed to hold on but the ball was cleared for a corner. Ozbey made the run in again on the 10th minute and was about to take aim when he was halted by the brave Ishfaq Ahmed.

While the Australian man Ozbey hit it wide on the 12th minute, Amrinder committed a serious error on the 14th minute when he ran out near the edge and Ozbey challenged the keeper to reach it first, however Pune was saved the discomfort as the ball ran out of play.

Pune suffered yet another blow when playmaker Darko twisted his ankle and had to be replaced by Prakash Thorat on the 19th minute.

The half hour mark was when Pune could have nailed it in but missed.. Anas’s long hoof found Haokip in the danger area but his header glided just over the bar.

38 minutes on the clock and Arata in tow with Sueoka sent in a ball to Haokip but he was unable to set up a pefect attack as keeper Kattimani managed to get hold of the ball.

The last attempt of the first half came in off an Ozbey header from a Nirmal Chhetri cross, and at the break, scor line was stagnant at 0-0.

Dempo relaunched their offence with the same energy and 54 minutes down, Clifford Miranda should have found the back of the net in the top corner had it not been for Amrinder’s brilliant save.

The 65th minute saw a disallowed goal much to the relief of the hosts. After a short corner, Dempo’s Hernandez found an unmarked colleague who put in a header across the boz but as keeper Amrinder tried to shield it, he was blocked unfairly and as the ball slid past into the goal the alert referee announced the goal did not stand.

Amrinder wasn’t given a breather as Lenny put in a shot straight at him, he failed to collect it but got himself together in a flash. Having a bad day at office, he rushed out to clear the ball in the 73rd minute but completely misjudged it but was lucky to have his defender behind him who put the ball away to safe zones.

The Pune defense was caught napping by substitute Francis Fernandes as he was in the box but his shot ran just wide off the goal in the 82nd minute.

What really lit up the final minutes was an out of the blue header from Dhanpal Ganesh for Pune but it was just over the bar by a few meters.

Dempo were not to be bogged down by this stray attack, they went on into ascendency and last chances came in the 87th and 88th minutes. First, Lenny should have found the bottom corner but Amrinder’s palms were enough to evade the goal and then on the successive corner an unmarked Germanpreet failed to clinch the game for the visitors.

An exciting match featuring a resurgent Dempo against a defensive Pune came to a close with goalless scoreline. Pune sit on top of the points table, a point clear off Bengaluru who won their match against Lajong today while Dempo are on the sixth position for now.

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