Pune coach Anup Kumar, after their tie against U Mumba, said that they could have won the game if they hadn't made unnecessary advanced tackle attempts towards the end of the game. He also added that they would have substituted Hadi and tried to win the game had they had a substitution left.
Puneri Paltan tied their second game this season and are now currently 10th on the points table with 4 wins in 13 matches. They had a shaky start to their match last night as their main raider Nitin Tomar was ineffective. The defence itself was not doing that well and as a result, they succumbed to an all-out 8 minutes into the game. However, they made a comeback and had a lead of 6 points when 6 minutes were left on the clock but they were unable to hold onto the lead because of mistakes made in defence.
“We had planned to maintain a deep line defensively and in offence, our strategy was to play on the do-or-die raid. We could easily use up a minute and twenty seconds during our raids, but in defence, we made advanced tackles that weren’t necessary,” Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar said in the post-match press conference.
The top performer from their team was Manjeet as he scored 10 points, 6 raid points and 4 tackle points making him the highest scorer in both departments. As Nitin Tomar was ineffective and was able to score only 1 point, he was substituted for Pankaj Mohite who finished the match with 5 raid points. In defence, apart from Balasaheb Jadhav and Shubham Shinde’s three point each, no one was able to put up any big numbers. Skipper Surjeet being their key player failed to score even a single point and also had three unsuccessful tackles to his name.
“We gave away a couple of cheap raid points. Surjeet Singh's tackle where the raider leaped over was probably the turning point. We didn’t need to tackle him at that point,” Anup explained.
Pune had a chance to win in the end but there was only one player left on the mat for their last raid. With defender Hadi Tajik being that player, they decided to play safe and they ended the match in a tie.
“We did not have a raider on the mat towards the end. And that was a big problem. We had used up our substitutes and if we would have had a substitution in the bank, we would have tried to win the game,” Anup concluded.
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