FC Pune City end their home stretch in the group stages with a 4-3 win against table toppers Delhi Dynamos to snap their unbeaten streak. Brace by Anibal Rodriguez at the hour mark took Delhi from 1-0 in the lead at half-time to leading by 3-1. Florent Malouda drew one back to keep the nervous moments going for Pune.
In stoppage time, one goal by both teams kept the tempo but the hosts had done enough for the three points. They move up to fourth in the table with 15 points while Delhi remain top of the table.
FULL TIME! FC Pune City bring their home run in the group stages in a nervous manner. Final score reads 4-3 in the Stallions’ favour against Delhi Dynamos.
GOAL! This is not over! 4-3! Sawntea with a scruffed effort but enough to beat Bete after he had parried a Delhi shot.
GOAL! Pune make it 4-2 with substitute who puts it into the corner with his left footed shot. Plenty of space and time but he doesn’t take a second touch. Side foots it with his left and that could be just enough for Pune
Six minutes of stoppage time in Pune. Plenty of time for Delhi to go hunting for the equaliser and nervous moments for Pune to stay in the lead
Gianluca Zambrotta has the back of the head in his hands as Malouda’s effort goes over the bar. On the volley, the Frenchman lets fly but it is always rising and goes over the crossbar. Bothered by a Pune defender’s leg though
We’ve seen plenty of attacking in this game. We’ve seen five goals in this game and both the keepers have been immense and made plenty of saves. Not really the best night for the defenders though!
GOAL! Delhi have one back! It is 2-3 in Pune as its a contentious decision. Malouda or own goal? Low cross is fizzled into the Pune box from the left and it creeps into the goal. Malouda was lurking to bother the defender. And it has been given to the Delhi captain
GOAL! It’s raining goals all of a sudden in Pune! Anibal with his second of the game. Anibal lets fly from distance and it is into the right corner. Delhi goalkeeper Soram can only watch the ball find its way into the back of the net.
Sissoko puts Pune in the lead! 2-1! Another set piece and another goal for Pune City. Multiple ricochets in the box and it finally falls to an unmarked Sissoko who is on hand to hammer it in. He had a penalty saved but no missing that!
ANIBAL RODRIGUEZ EQUALISES FOR PUNE! 1-1 An assist by Jonathan Lucca and Anibal makes it 1-1. It was also on the horizon – this goal – and it has finally come in the 55th minute. Third goal of the season for Anibal. Free-kick whipped in and Anibal rises highest and quickest to nod the ball into the corner to draw parity.
Second half underway in Pune and the hosts have equalised soon after restart!
HALF TIME! Explosive close to the first half in Pune. The hosts get another big chance to score but it is once again saved by Soram. And with that, we go into the break at 1-0 to Delhi with a Kean Lewis goal the difference maker. It has been all Pune for the most parts of the 45 minutes until Delhi took the lead against the run of play. That’s what you get for not converting your chances. Pune had a penalty and they failed to convert.
GOAL! Delhi takes the lead in the 43rd minute. Kean Lewis with the goal from close range to make it 0-1. Lovely no-look pass for Emerson Moura and he puts it on a platter for Lewis to tap it in from his left foot.
41′ Approaching half time in Pune and Delhi has finally started to grow into the game but it is very gradual and very scarce. Pune still the dominant side but the chances have dried up
24′ PENALTY FOR PUNE! Lalchhawnikima brings down Anibal Zurdo Rodriguez and it is penalty for Pune.
BUT IS SAVED!! Mohamed Sissoko has his effort saved! The shot is neither down the center, nor in the corner. It goes right between that region and is saved by Soram. Stays 0-0!
20′ SAVE! How great has Soram Poirei been for Delhi Dynamos. Thwarts another Pune effort on goal – this time from Momar Ndoye
3′ CHANCE! Eduardo Ferreira is one-on-one with the Delhi goalkeeper Soram Poirei and he sends the effort straight at the keeper. Big, big chance early on for the home side to score but it has been squandered. Put through after a corner and the chance is wasted. Good start for the Stallions!
FC Pune City: Apoula Edima Edel Bete(GK), Eduardo Ferreira, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Gouramangi Singh Moirangthem, Narayan Das, Mohamed Sissoko(C), Arata Izumi, Jonatan Lucca, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Momar Ndoye, Anibal Zurdo Rodriguez.
Delhi Dynamos: Soram Poirei(GK), Rubén González Rocha, Souvik Chakraborty, Lalchhawnkima, Anas Edathodika, David Addy, Emerson Gomes de Moura, Marcos Tébar, Kean Lewis, Marcelo Leite Pereira, Florent Malouda(C)
FC Pune City target full points against leaders Delhi Dynamos
Placed at the bottom half of the points table, FC Pune City would look to get the better of toppers Delhi Dynamos to keep their semifinals hopes alive when the two sides take on each other in an Indian Super League football match.
Pune are placed sixth with 12 points from 10 matches and will need full points against the league leaders on Friday to stay alive. Delhi are comfortably placed with 17 points from 10 matches.
Under-pressure Pune head coach Antonio Habas said except for Delhi, no team can take their qualification to the semi-finals for granted.
“We are on the hunt for a win. This league is very tough and all teams are in a similar situation. We are ready to grab these three points,” said Habas at the pre-match media interaction.
Pune were flying high after victories over Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC but they were grounded by Chennaiyin FC who scripted a comfortable 2-0 victory in their last clash. Habas admitted losing all points was a setback but all is still not lost for his team.
“All teams, except Delhi, are close (to each other on the table). The teams who play better and score goals will be the ones who make less mistakes. If you look at the points table, it’s all about plus or minus two points difference. Now it’s all about minimising mistakes,” said the Spanish coach who will be under pressure to deliver.
There is no doubt Delhi Dynamos are among the best teams on view in the league but that is not enough for coach Gianluca Zambrotta.
He has continued to stress that his team has not yet achieved their primary target of qualification for the play-offs and that target could come closer on Friday if they manage to win against Pune.
“At the moment we are in a good position but we are (still) a long way off from the play-offs. It’s a strong league. The next four matches will not be easy. We have to take match by match. Right now our focus is only on this match against Pune,” said the Italian World Cup winner.
Delhi did extremely well to snatch a point against Atletico de Kolkata in their last match with an exciting 2-2 draw, achieved despite having a player sent off in the first session.
Zambrotta will miss Milan Singh who scored a screamer against ATK but picked up a booking, his fourth of the league, which automatically suspends him for one match.
“I know Pune lost the last match (against Chennaiyin) but they have won two successive games against Kolkata and Mumbai. They are a difficult team and have good quality players,” said Zambrotta.