Pune FC cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory over defending champions Dempo SC in an I-League Round 22 encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune on Thursday.
First-half strikes from midfielder Sukhwinder Singh (30th minute) and striker James Moga (44th) settled the tie in Pune FC's favour.
With this win, Pune FC completed a double over Dempo SC after beating the Goans 5-1 earlier in the season. The victory propelled Pune FC into third place with 37 points from 20 games over their opponents who dropped to fourth place with 35 points from 21 games.
Pune FC began pressing and creating chances right from the word go. After some half chances, Dempo at the other end had Nicolau Borges shot saved by Abhra Mondal.
Around the quarter hour mark, striker Boima Karpeh's attempt off Karma Tsewang's low ball was deflected and went inches wide.
At the half-hour mark, Pune FC took the lead. Medio Sukhwinder got the ball on the right flank, controlled it and let fly from 35-yards. The shot swerved past 'keeper Laxmikant Kattimani at the far post as the hosts took the lead.
A minute from the half time whistle, Pune FC doubled their advantage after Moga did well to beat the keeper from the right after Sukhwinder sent him in the clear with a lofted through ball.
The second half was a similar story as Pune FC kept on creating chances as Dempo were restricted to very few chances. Striker John Menyongar cut past two on the left but had his shot blocked by Abhra.
The Pune FC custodian was at his best as he intercepted a dangerous through ball aimed at Climax Lawerence by striker Koko Sakibo.
Both the teams created many chances thereafter, but finishing in the final third was lacking. Pune FC kept their cool and saw out the game.