Calcutta: James Moga recorded a hat-trick as Pune FC hammered a hapless United Sikkim FC 6-1 on Sunday’s Group B tie of the IFA Shield, here, at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Mathematically, the crushing win certainly keeps the Pune outfit’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive as they finish their league engagements on four points from three matches.
But coach Derrick Pereira’s men will now have to look at a United Sikkim win over Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa, which looks very unlikely, if they are to have their way through to the last four.
It took Pune FC just eight minutes to go ahead when Liberian Boima Karpeh, off Karma Tsewang’s centre, finished with a left-footed grounder from the edge of the box.
Pablo Rodriquez restored parity for United Sikkim after they were awarded with a penalty in the 25th minute. Referee Ajit Meetei pointed to the spot straightaway when the goal-bound Rodriguez was brought down by Pune ’keeper Abhra Mondal.
However, Pune regained their lead within two minutes, with Boima and Moga cashing in on the porous United Sikkim defence before the latter made ample room to slot the ball home.
From thereon, Pune were all over their opponents. They doubled their lead three minutes into the second session when an unmarked Zomingliana Ralte comfortably tapped home Velington Rocha’s centre.
Moga then scored his second, heading home a Rocha corner, quarter of an hour later, before bringing up his third in the 77th minute.
Minutes before the final whistle substitute Subhas Singh too registered his name on the scoresheet, pushing home Moga’s centre into an open net.