Defending champions Pune FC handed out a humiliating 9-0 defeat to United Sikkim while Prayag United were held 1-1 by Salgaocar during the 6th U-20 I-League football tournament that is underway in the city. Both the matches on Wednesday were played at Gopal Maidan.
It was Pune player Lalnunfela William’s day under the sun on Wednesday. William showed some class play with his deft dribbles and accurate shots to net three in his team’s tally of nine to put the match beyond Sikkim’s reach.
The Sikkim outfit, instead of counter-attacking, quietly kept fading into oblivion in the face of Pune’s attacks as the match progressed.
However, it was Subhashish Bose drew first blood for Pune in the 9th minute before midfielder F. Lalrempuia made it 2-0 in the 19th minute. Lalrempuia’s second goal came in the 23rd minute while Bose added to the tally in the 28th minute to make the score 4-0.
Later in the match, Thongkhosiem Haokip managed to get his name on teh score sheet with a 31st minute scorcher that found the back of the Sikkim net. William then scored a brace, the first of his three goals coming a minute before half-time.
The second half again saw Pune toying with the Sikkim defence.
Nikhil Kadam scored the seventh goal for Pune in the 56th minute before William struck his second in the 58th minute. The 70th minute saw William netting his third and notching the first hat-trick of the tournament. The win secured Pune’s place in the final league group.
The first half of the other match between Prayag United and Salgaocar was fiercely contested but neither team succeeded scoring.
Prayag’s Amit Kumar Mahto was the first to score when he struck from close range in the 49th minute. Salgaocar, however, equalised in the 56th minute when Melwin Fernandes dodged past Prayag defenders to score from the left flank.
The draw confirmed Salgaocar’s place in the next stage.
Among the ones booked were Ranjan Mistry and Sandip Patra from Prayag United and Mario Fernandes and Stendly Miranda from Salgaocar.