Indian Super League 2017: FC Pune City Beat FC Goa, ATK Sink Delhi Dynamos

Updated: 24 December 2017 00:22 IST

It looked like both teams would cancel each other out until the 72nd minute when Marcelinho threaded a pass forward for Emiliano Alfaro, who clinically buried it past Laxmikant Kattimani. Alfaro had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but his shot didn't have enough pace and was cleared away.

Indian Super League 2017: FC Pune City Beat FC Goa, ATK Sink Delhi Dynamos
FC Pune City registered an easy 2-0 win over FC Goa. © ISL

FC Pune City leaped into fourth place after a stunning 2-0 win over table-toppers FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday. By dishing out another superb counter-attacking performance, they ended the home side's streak of three straight wins.

It looked like both teams would cancel each other out until the 72nd minute when Marcelinho threaded a pass forward for Emiliano Alfaro, who clinically buried it past Laxmikant Kattimani. Alfaro had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but his shot didn't have enough pace and was cleared away.

However, Pune finally had their second goal in the 84th minute when Jonatan Lucca gleefully converted after Mandar Rao Dessai's clearance deflected into his path.

Despite having the better first half, Pune had to work hard and dig deep at times with Goa coming at them in full force in the second period. This was exemplified with Vishal Kaith's triple save in the 70th minute, when he saved shots from Ferran Corominas, Brandon Fernandes and Manuel Arana as chaos ensued in the Pune box.

Apart from setting up the first goal, Marcelinho was heavily involved in the game, his swept effort and a ballooned shot coming seconds apart from each other in the 50th minute. But he was also in the middle of a penalty shout which the referee waved away.

But while they have the attacking verve, Pune won this game on the merit of sitting deep and defending smartly.

They had to soak in a lot of pressure in the first 10 minutes of the match after Mandar and Brandon both got into dangerous areas only to see their shots blocked. It was interesting for Goa to try the long-ball tactic early on, but Pune's defenders held tight and defended with ease.

But after that cagey start, the game suddenly opened up when Corominas dinked the ball over goalkeeper Kaith, but his attempt clipped the woodwork as the first notable warning shot was fired by the home side. Pune had a glorious chance themselves.

Marcelinho was the architect with some incredibly individual ability, setting up Alfaro to tap in, which the striker somehow missed in front of an open net. With frustration setting in for Alfaro, he struck from distance, but his blistering shot was palmed away by Laxmikant Kattimani.

Diego Carlos and Manuel Lanzarote then carved out two half chances, but both went begging as some good goalkeeping and profligacy in front of the net meant the score stayed 0-0 at the break.

The game had to come to life at some point, and when it did, Goa looked out of ideas going forward, allowing Pune to hit them on the break and take a valuable three away points.

Ranko Popovic's methods are finally working, and Pune will host NorthEast United with a lot of confidence in their next match, which is on December 30.

ATK beat DD

Irishman Robbie Keane scored a delectable second-half winner to hand holders ATK a 1-0 win over bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie here at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

Keane (78th minute), who is set to leave after this game for a two-week vacation, turned back the clock with a piece of brilliance inside the box, recieving a substitute Bipin Singh pass, turning his marker and finding the bottom right corner expertly to score his first goal for the club.

The Tottenham Hotspur legend and ATK skipper then broke into his trademark cartwheel celebration, somersaulting twice before joining both hands to say "namaste" to the home supporters.

With co-owners Sanjiv Goenka and former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly in attendance, it was a perfect moment for the twice champions who have had to endure a rocky start to their campaign in the fourth season.

The result meant Delhi -- who have now lost five games on the trot -- remained at the foot of the heap with just three points from six games. ATK moved one spot to seventh position courtesy the result, now having eight points from six outings.

The visitors, missing the services of Cichero who is suspended while Kalu Uche who is injured, were also without their suspended coach Miguel Angel Portugal.

For the hosts, Jayesh Rane made his full debut and in the 5th minute should have scored from a Robbie Keane cross.

There were shouts of a penalty when Prabir Das's cross from the right caught Delhi defender Pratik Chowdhary's trailing arm inside the box but referee waved play on.

Romeo Fernandes forced home goalkeeper Debjit Mazumdar into a good good diving save at the other end for a corner. From the resultant flag kick, former ATK man Pritam Kotal headed over.

The best chance of the half fell to Teddy Sheringham-coached team. After a slick move, Conor Thomas set up Zequinha with a diagonal through ball which the latter fizzed wide of the far post.

At halftime, both teams were locked goalless.

In the second period, both teams failed to muster any chance of note with the quality of football also dropping before Keane -- who missed the first few games due to injury -- brought the game to life with his magical solo effort.

Thomas started the move with a long ball through to Bipin, who replaced Jayesh Rane in the 70th minute. Bipin then headed down the ball well and cushioned it for Keane to do the rest.

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Topics : FC Goa FC Pune City Football Indian Super League
Highlights
  • FC Pune City leaped into fourth place
  • FC Pune City beat table-toppers FC Goa 2-0
  • FC Pune scored their second goal in the 84th minute
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