A striker always remains a striker is what David Trezeguet showed when he rolled back all those years with an opportunistic strike to help FC Pune City register their maiden win beating FC Goa by 2-0 in the Hero Indian uper League on Sunday.
It was an evening of World Cuppers as Trezeguet’s 81st minute strike was preceded by Greece World Cupper Kostas Katsouranis’ side volley in the 41st minute which gave the home team lead at the Balewadi Stadium.
For Goa and their high-profile manager Zico, things seemed to be getting from bad to worse as they have now lost three out of their four matches and are languishing at the bottom of the table. FC Pune City with this win moved upto fifth place in the table.
Far from his best at 37, Trezeguet didn’t do much during the entire duration of 90 minutes but when rival defender Gregory Arnolin tried a backpass for Goa custodian Laxmikant Kattimani, Trezeguet showed why he was able to score 138 goals for Juventus during his best days at Turin.
The Frenchman latched onto the ball and with Kattimani trying to narrow the angle immaculately placed it past the surging goalie to make it 2-0 much to the delight of team’s co-owner Hrithik Roshan, who cheered from the stands along with another young Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor.
The first goal for FC Pune came against the run of play as Katsouranis scored from the dead ball situation. Pune got a corner in the 41st minute.
The flag-kick was headed by the defender towards Daniele Magliocchetti, who put the ball back in the six-yard box. Katsouranis carried a marker along with him before unleashing a powerful side volley, which marked the Greek World Cupper’s maiden ISL goal.
For FC Goa, it was another disappointing day in office as Nigerian Ranti Martins again couldn’t display his predatory skills that Indian football lovers have been used to seeing in the I-League and othet competitions.
At the onset, Miguel Herlein essayed a perfect pass for Ranti, whose header was off target.
Pune’s right wingback Anupam Sarkar headed one back towards goalie Emanuele Belardi as Ranti chased down but failed to finish with custodian averting the danger. The match was only its seventh minute.
Brazilian Andre Santos got into the act in the 37th minute as his long ranger was a good effort but there was no luck for the man, who tried his best for the visiting team.
Within another two minutes, Santos tried to execute a diving header but was off the mark. With no support upfront, the Brazilian found it difficult to break the deadlock.
Leading by a goal at the break, in the 48th minute, Pune were on the ascendancy in the second half, when Palacious took a perfect corner which Katsouranis came from behind to head but Kattimani parried it away.
The second corner saw Trezeguet heading it straight to the goalkeeper.
In the 66th minute, Goa could have equalized as Santos’ powerful left-footer from atleast 25 yards smashed the horizontal much to the dismay of the Goa supporters.
Santos took another shot in the 75th minute which deflected the defender and also beat the Pune goalie only to hit the upright.
In the 79th minute, Bruno Pinheiro took a crack which was brilliantly saved by Pune goalie Bellardi.
But in the end, Trezeguet found his scoring boots as Pune fans walked out of the stadium with a smile.