Pune: Strikers James Moga and Boima Karpeh struck a goal each as Pune FC posted a comfortable 2-0 win over Pailan Arrows to clinch the second position and their best-ever finish in the I-League, here Sunday.
Moga scored in the 39th minute while Karpeh found the net in the 65t minute to help Pune earn their 16th win of the season. The points tally was the highest ever achieved by Pune who took their total to an all-time best 52 points from 26 games.
Currently Pune are level on points with champions Churchill Brothers. Pune began the game explosively with Jerry creating a chance in the opening minute only for an alert Arrows custodian Soram Poirei to deny.
Midway through the half, winger Khanthang Paite sent in a ball from the left and saw Moga connect in front of the goal. His attempt came off the cross bar and his rebound was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Pune took the lead six minutes from the break. Left-back Gurjinder Kumar found Jerry in the center who controlled and bulldozed through the defense before taking a shot. His attempt was blocked and fell for Moga whose first-time attempt beat the goalie.
After a slow start to the second half, Pune doubled their advantage twenty minutes into the game. Playmaker Douhou Pierre dispossessed a defender and set up Jerry on a run on the left. The striker controlled, held off a defender and slid the ball past the goalkeeper.
The hosts created a few chances late into the game and held on to their two-goal lead to seal the match.
In another match, John Coutinho's late goal helped Mumbai FC to hold Sporting Clube de Goa to a 2-2 draw in their concluding match of the I-League played at Tilak Maidan here today.
Yakubu Yusif's penalty had given Mumbai FC a deserving lead in the 34th minute but Sporting hit back in the second session with goals from Dawson Fernandes (53rd minute) and Victorino Fernandes (75th minute) until Coutinho struck the equaliser in the second minute of added time.
The draw takes Sporting Clube de Goa tally to 35 points from 26 matches to remain at sixth place while Mumbai FC took their tally to 32 points to finish 8th.