Pune FC snatch draw, earn first overseas point

Hong Kong, March 12: A determined Pune FC produced a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against last year’s quarter-finalists Kitchee SC in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2014 Group H Round 2 encounter at the Mong Kok Stadium here Wednesday.

Playing their first overseas encounter, Pune FC earned a memorable point against the five-time Hong Kong champions.

Hosts Kitchee took a 2-0 lead in the first half through defender Fernando Recia (28th minute) and striker Juan Belencoso (42nd). However, second half strikes from substitute Mirjan Pavlovic (55th) and winger Gabriel Fernandes (74th) restored parity for Pune FC.

It was not only the half-time introduction of Mirjan and defender Gurjinder Kumar that did the trick for Pune FC but also goalkeeper Amrinder Singh’s heroics in the second half kept Pune FC in the game.

The point earned took Pune FC’s overall tally to two points in as many games and they are now third in the group behind leaders Kitchee (4) and Nay Pyi Taw FC (4).

Coach Mike Snoei made three changes to the starting line-up, handing starts to defender Anas Edathodika, medio Fanai Lalrempuia and Arata Izumi in place of Salam Ranjan Singh, Anthony D’Souza and Pavlovic.

IANS