Mohun Bagan and Pune FC match ends in goalless draw

Kolkata, Feb 12 (PTI) Former champions Mohun Bagan andyoung aspirant Pune FC settled for a goalless draw in theirsecond leg I-League opener at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan heretoday.

With this draw Bagan now have 20 points from 14 matcheswhile Pune earned 15 points after fourteen ties.

Unlike Bagan, Pune FC should not be disappointed with theresult as during the pre-match comments their coach DerekPerira said he hoped to earn at least one point from this awaymatch.

With four of their regulars sitting out for card problemor injury, Bagan failed to shine and cash in on their homeadvantage.

Absence of their wily striker Muritala Ali was also felt.

Green-and-maroon managed to put one through Subrata Paul whichwas disallowed by referee A Costa though one of the Baganplayers committed a foul before Chidi header went home beatingrival keeper Subrata Paul in the 37th minute.

Bagan defence led by Dipak Mondal withstood the attacksby Pune strikers Ijumi Arata and Edeh Chidi who combined wellto spell danger in Bagan defence.

Mondal was rightly adjudged "man of the match".

In spite of absence of their two key players � strikerTita and medio Ajayan - who are nursing injuries, the visitorsmaintained an edge, specially in the first half.

They could have romp home with three points if they couldfinish the chances they made. They were also unlucky not toearn a goal as early as in the fifth minute when a powerfulright footer by their medio Lester Fernandes hit the crosspiece after beating Bagan custodian Sangram Mukherjee.

For Pune FC their custodian and international Subrata Palalso brought out a few fine saves to keep their fort in tact.

Pune started well right after the kick off and dominatedthe proceedings during first ten minutes. Bagan could maketheir presence felt in the 13th minute and a Chidi attempt wassmartly foiled by keeper Subrata Pal for a corner.

After Sangram saved a Ijumi Arata shot in the 18thminute, Bagan forced a beautiful attack and could found thetarget in the 37th minute which was disallowed by the referee.

The second half saw both the teams creating opportunitiesbut failed to finish. While for Pune an Edmar grounder wentout narrowly in 78th minute, Bagan''s Surkumar Singh shot overfrom close off a nice pass by Chidi four minutes before thescheduled time.

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