Pune FC rode on India international Jackichand Singh’s second minute strike to snap defending champions Atletico de Kolkata’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 win and jump to the top of the Indian Super League standings in Pune on Saturday.
The game got off to a lightning start with Jackichand capitalising on a long ball into the ATK half and finishing first time with his left foot past goalkeeper Juan Calatayud to put the home side 1-0 up with just 76 seconds on the clock at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium.
With nine points from four matches (three wins and a loss), Pune leapfrogged ATK on top of ISL table, pushing down the defending champions, who suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, to second spot. ATK now have seven points from four matches (two wins, one draw and one loss).
Calatayud was a busy man throughout the match and was called into action a minute later to save from a long range effort by Costa Rican Yendrick Ruiz. The home side were firmly in control in the opening stages as Kolkata struggled to get on the ball.
Pune could have doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute but Tuncay Sanli blazed over the bar with a shot off his weaker left foot. The defending champions were on the back foot and a quick counter-attack set up two more chances for Pune in a goal-mouth scramble at the half-hour mark.
ATK’s defence somehow kept it at 1-0 after attempts from Ruiz and Jackichand were cleared off the line. Ruiz had another go from a distance but Calatayud was equal to the task. Pune had another go before going into the break in the 41st minute but Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s shot, however, failed to test the keeper.
Kolkata had to wait till the 38th minute for their first shot on goal, off Ofentse Nato that he dragged wide off the target. Pune keeper Steven Simonsen got his first touch of the ball four minutes later after making a routine save at near post from ATK’s first shot on target.