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FC Pune City keep semifinal qualification hopes alive




FC Pune City scored in the last seconds to hold Goan FC 3-3 and keep their semifinal qualification hopes alive in the AWES Cup, organised by AWES in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Thursday.

With two points from two matches, FC Pune City will need to defeat reigning champions Dempo SC to move to the last four stage of the tournament.

Pune City led 2-0 at half time with goals from both their foreign players, Matthew Mills (15th minute) and Diego de Oliveira (36th minute).

However, it was a completely different story in the second session as Goan FC equalised and then surged ahead, thanks to goals from Hayden Fernandes and Lalampuia. It seemed like over for Pune City, but they managed to get the equaliser in the dying seconds of the match through star striker Emiliano Alfaro.

Goan FC bowed out with two points.

It was a clash with Pune dictating terms in the first session. Mills started the scoring in the 23rd minute when he headed a free kick which was fisted away by the goalkeeper, only for Mills to find the target on the rebound.

Diego’s snap shot in the 36th minute, from outside the box, made it 2-0 but Goan FC fought back in the second session. At first, Hayden took the rival goalkeeper by surprise with a stunning long range attempt that found the mark. The hardworking Lalampuia then scored two opportunistic goals to make it 3-2 in favour of Goan FC.

Just when it looked like Pune City would pack their bags for home, Alfaro rose to the challenge as he poked home the winner from a corner kick in the closing stages of added time.

Salgaocar FC have already qualified for the semis from this group with five points.

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