Navi Mumbai, April 20 (IANS) Pune FC registered their best-ever win in the Under-20 I-League football, beating Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bangalore 5-1 in their opening at the Father Agnel Football ground here Friday.
A first half hat trick by striker Thongkosiem Haokip (26th, 38th, 45+1' minutes) and a goal each by F. Lalrempuia (59th) and Thangjam Abung Meetie (71st) powered Pune FC to a big win.
HAL, however, had the distinction of scoring the opening goal of the match through Sanju Kumar in the seventh minute of play.
In the sweltering humidity of Navi Mumbai, Pune FC was shocked by an early goal when Kumar, from close, tapped in with the defence beaten.
The goal resulted in an aggressive retaliation from Pune FC as they started dominating possession over the next twenty minutes.
V. Karthik of HAL received a yellow card in the 15th minute for his dangerous challenge on Nikhil Kadam of Pune FC.
After dominating play, Pune FC's effort bore fruit when Haokip opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he hammered home a 30-yard thunderbolt.
Close on the heels of the goal, the Bangalore-side made its first substitution with Vijay Prabhankar coming in for R. Mohan in the 35th minute.
Twelve minutes after scoring their first, Pune FC had M. Sujie Kumar's cross from the right find an unmarked Haokip nod home.
Haokip completed his trick in the first minute of added time nodding home for the second time. At half time Pune FC led 3-1.
The second half started with a cautious approach from HAL. However as Pune FC pressed hard they earned a penalty-kick, courtesy when R. Shivram was brought down by the late challenge of V. Karthik.
F.Lalrempuia converted the penalty cleanly; in his second attempt as the first was disallowed for infringement and help Pune FC lead 4-1.
Riding on confidence, Pune FC added their fifth goal in the 71st minute. Some good work on the left flank by substitue David Lalbiakzara resulted in a save from the HAL goalkeeper leaving Thangjam Abung Meetie capatalise on the chance with a clean tap-in.
Pune FC could have made it a tennis score had Deepak Kumar not hit the post from close range way into added time.
Pune FC now faces Air-India in their next game on 23rd April in what expects to be a big Maharashtra derby.
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