Sesa Goa in Durand Cup


New Delhi: Sesa Goa drew 1-1 with Pune FC to qualify for the semifinal of the 125th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium here Monday.

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The result helped Sesa finish on top with four points and move into the semifinals.

Pune had to be blamed themselves for making an exit. After taking the lead when striker Jeje Lalpekhlua (90+2′) sneaked the ball home, Sesa FA in a matter of three minutes leveled through Chukwudi Chukwuma.

With hot humid conditions to negotiate, Pune FC all through the day probed the Sesa half and created half chances. Subash Singh set the ball rolling early.

Following a long diagonal by Anas Edathodika the striker on the right delivered well only to have the Sesa ‘keeper punch ahead of Jeje.

Pune FC showed urgency and were also casual at times going ahead. Arata Izumi was flagged for off-side twice. Medio Mumtaz Akthar tried to find his strikers, but was long and into the keeper. Karma Tsewang made some good runs on the right but his delivery across always remained long.

Karma then stole the ball from the opponent on the 25-yards out but failed to capatalise. Subash in the meanwhile headed over an Arata cross.

Twenty-three minutes on, Pune FC went deep. Karma swung a cross to Arata who played back to Shanmugam Venkatesh. Chipping the ball from the edge of the box to Jeje the move ended with the Sesa defender clearing just in time.

With Arata caught off-side again, Venkatesh had a half chance come his way from top of the box.

Sesa did well to hold Pune FC and created the best try of the period when Yogesh Kadam chased a long ball on the left and crashed his left footer wide. At the other end, Subash retaliate with a crisp right footer that moved away at the second post after Karma did well to square a pass after getting past two defenders.

Two minutes later Subash was again with a chance after Jeje set him up 12-yards out. What followed was a grounder that the Sesa keeper cleared.

Jeje had a try on the first post. Arata, then, had the best chance of the half to give Pune FC the lead but ended casually taking an angular try from 8-yards into the keeper.

The Pune FC defence all through was in command. Chika Wali cut off a move deep into the box on the right. Srikant Ramu headed out a dangerously floating corner at second post. And then on the brink of half time Anas Edathodika cleared following keeper Amarinder Singh losing an aerial ball met by Chukwuma cheeky header.