The Telegraph
Saturday , March 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Draw dims TFA title hopes
- Holders Pune ahead in I-League with a match in hand

Pune FC held home team Tata Football Academy (TFA) to a goalless draw in the final round tie of the Under-20 I-League on Friday, the stalemate improving the visitorís chances of clinching the title for the second time in a row with a game in hand for each side.

Pune now leads the table with 10 points while the hostís tally stands at 8.

TFA have to garner full points in their next outing against Mohun Bagan on Sunday to push Pune to the second slot. But that seems improbable given the rank poor show by Puneís opponents East Bengal.

In case Pune plays a draw against the Calcutta outfit and TFA defeats Bagan, both sides will be tied at 11 points. But Pune will walk home with the title, as it has scored more goals (7) than TFA (5).

At Gopal Maidan, both sides played tough football and tried hard to outsmart each other in an exciting tie. If TFA held grip over the proceedings in the first half, Pune called the shots in the second.

In the other outings of the day at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Sesa Goa defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 while Salgaocar edged out East Bengal by a similar margin.

Sesa took lead in the 25th minute after a strike from Olvin Cardozo. The lead was extended just before the lemon-break when Mauvin Borges converted a penalty two minutes into the stoppage time.

Bagan played with a lot of purpose in the second half but couldnít convert their chances. It took them 88 minutes to find the net through an Adarsh Lama Tamang left-footer.

Salgaocar had the match under their control after Godfrey Silva found the net in the 42nd minute. The second half saw both teams fighting hard for the ball but it was Albino Pereira who extended the lead for Salgaocar in the 86th minute.

Substitute Anirban Chatterjee pulled one back for the red and gold brigade in the 88th minute. But it was too late for them.

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