Missed chances and defensive errors cost Pune FC as they squandered a one-goal lead to go down 1-2 to East Bengal in an I-League Round 25 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Saturday.
Winger Anthony D'Souza (39th minute) put Pune FC ahead in the first half before strikes from striker Chidi Edeh (72nd) and substitute Seimilen Doungel (75th) handed East Bengal all three points.
Pune FC's third consecutive loss means they stay in the seventh place with 31 points.
Coach Mike Snoei made five changes to the line-up handing starts to Anas Edathodika, Zohmingliana Ralte, Mumtaz Akhtar, Anthony D'Souza and Thongkhosiem Haokip.
Both teams took time to settle and went close on a couple of occasions in the opening quarter.
Twenty-two minutes in, East Bengal created the first close chance of the match.
Ten minutes later, medio Subodh Kumar's 30-yard effort came off the woodwork as East Bengal started to push.
At the other end, after several half chances, Pune FC finally took the lead in the 39th minute. Attacker Riga Mustapha found Haokip on the edge of the box down the center. The young striker sent a cheeky through-ball to Anthony inside the box who calmly slotted home from close range.
Moments later, left-back Gurjinder Kumar's long range attempt on a solo run went inches wide at the far post. Pune FC took their one goal advantage into the breather.
The hosts came out all guns blazing in the second half creating chance after chance. However, some stubborn goalkeeping by East Bengal custodian Gurpreet Singh kept the visitors in the game.
Minutes after the hour mark, the tall keeper saved defender Calum Angus' powerful freekick but the rebound fell back for the Englishman whose volley flew over.