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Pune FC beat East Bengal 2-1 in I-League

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Kolkata, May 17: Strikes from midfielder Ishfaq Ahmed and forward Thongkhosiem Haokip helped Pune FC clinch an 2-1 away win over East Bengal in an I-League encounter at the Barasat District Sports Stadium here on Sunday.

However, it was East Bengal who opened the scoring in the 44th minute courtesy a goal from Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi. But Ishfaq and Haokip added two for the visitors to help stay at fifth position in the standings with 26 points from 18 encounters while East Bengal are a rung above with as many points as Pune’s but from 17 games.

After an evenly matched contest for the first few minutes, it was Omagbemi who netted the ball for the home side after he latched on to a perfect pass from midfielder Mehtab Hossain.

Barely had the celebrations died down when Pune FC equalised after a delightful cross from their Japanese playmaker Ryuji Sueoka which was headed in by Ishfaq at the far post, the header was a miss-hit but somehow the ball managed to find the back of the net.

The teams went into half-time locked at 1-1.

After the breather, neither team could build up enough quality play near the box to trouble each other’s defence but against the run of play, in the 65th minute, a right-footed strike from Haokip eventually proved to be the winner.

He collected the ball from the left and then placed it in the far post, as the ball rattled the net after striking the inside half of the post.

East Bengal tried staging a comeback in the last few minutes but they were kept to long rangers as the Pune FC defence stood strong.

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